Public asked to help track down missing £65m F-35 fighter jet

18 September 2023, 12:21

Members of the public are being asked to help find the missing F-35 jet
Members of the public are being asked to help find the missing F-35 jet. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

The US military is asking for the public's help to find one of its F-35 fighter jets after the pilot ejected over South Carolina.

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The jet went missing yesterday afternoon when the pilot was flying over South Carolina.

The Marine Corps pilot ejected and parachuted from the F-35 and landed in a neighbourhood of North Charleston at about 2pm local time.

Military officials have set the jet suffered a ‘mishap’.

The pilot was taken to a local hospital where he is in a stable condition.

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Based on the missing plane's location and trajectory, the search for the F-35 Lightning II jet was focused on Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, two lakes north of the city of Charleston.

The military base officials took to Twitter for help: “Emergency response teams are still trying to locate the F-35," it said.

"The public is asked to co-operate with military and civilian authorities as the effort continues."

A South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter joined the search for the F-35 after some bad weather cleared in the area.

Officials are still investigating why the pilot ejected.

The pilot of a second F-35 returned safely to Joint Base Charleston.

The planes and pilots were with the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 based in Beaufort, not far from South Carolina's Atlantic coast.

The jets are some of the world’s most advanced fighters, worth around £65m each.

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