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Wreckage located in search for F-35 jet after pilot safely ejects

Military officials said they've located debris about two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston, near where the plane was flying.
Search continues for missing F-35 jet after pilot safely ejects
Posted at 6:45 AM, Sep 18, 2023

Debris from a missing F-35 fighter jet has been located, according to officials at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Joint Base Charleston said a debris field had been located about two hours northeast of the facility.  

"Members of the community should avoid the area as the recovery team secures the debris field," the statement read.

The U.S. Marine Corps will take command of the incident now that the debris has been located. Officials said they weren't able to provide any more details as the investigation continues.

A United States Marine Corps pilot safely ejected from the aircraft in South Carolina over the weekend.

Military officials said the pilot was flying near Joint Base Charleston on Sunday afternoon when an undisclosed reason forced them to eject from the aircraft. The pilot parachuted safely into a North Charleston neighborhood. The F-35 Lightning II jet was initially unaccounted for and the aircraft's tracker was not working for unknown reasons. Officials said they're still investigating exactly what prompted the pilot to evacuate the aircraft.

Military officials had called on the public to help locate the jet. Military searchers, the FAA and the Civil Air Patrol all worked to comb for signs of a crash.

The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation stealth fighter jet developed by Lockheed Martin for the United States and its allied nations. The jet comes in three main variants and, while some can cost more than $150 million, that figure can vary significantly depending on several factors, including economies of scale as more units are produced, and inflation. 

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