Fighter jet goes missing in South Carolina after pilot bails out – NBC10 Philadelphia

The US military has asked for the public’s help in locating one of its F-35 fighter jets after a Marine Corps pilot safely ejected from the plane over South Carolina.

Military officials said the search for the missing jet was focused on two lakes in North Charleston.

The pilot ejected around 2 p.m. and parachuted safely into a north Charleston neighborhood. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was in stable condition, Maj. Melanie Salinas said. The pilot’s name was not released.

Based on the missing aircraft’s location and flight path, the search for the F-35 Lightning II jet focused on Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, said Senior Master Sgt. Heather Stanton at Joint Base Charleston. Both lakes are north of North Charleston.

A South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter joined the search for the F-35 after bad weather cleared in the area, Stanton said. Military officials appealed to the public in online posts Sunday for help finding the plane.

The incident drew some criticism when Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., asked on social media post: “How the hell do you lose an F-35?”

“How is it that there is no tracking device and we are asking the public to find a jet and turn it in?” she wrote.

Officials are still investigating why the pilot ejected, authorities said.

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

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

The jet, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is described as the “world’s most advanced fighter jet” as well as the “deadliest, stealthiest and most survivable aircraft.” with a price tag of around $80 million each.

Authorities say two pilots were killed when their planes crashed while landing at an air race in Reno on Sunday. Fighter jet goes missing in South Carolina after pilot bails out – NBC10 Philadelphia

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