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U.S. Asks Public for Help in Locating Missing F-35 Fighter Whose Pilot Was Forced to Parachute

2023-09-18T15:55:22.578Z

Highlights: The $80 million aircraft described as one of the "most advanced fighter jets in the world" was put on autopilot after its helmsman parachuted out for a "mishap" of which no details are known. The pilot was able to safely eject from the aircraft, an F-35B Lightning II jet, and was taken to a local medical facility in stable condition. The plane's transponder, which normally helps locate it, was not working "for some reason we have not yet determined"


The $80 million aircraft described as one of the "most advanced fighter jets in the world" was put on autopilot after its helmsman parachuted out for a "mishap" of which no details are known.


By Chantal Da Silva - NBC News

The stealth skills of U.S. fighter jets seem to be working too well.

Authorities have been forced to ask the public for help in finding an F-35 fighter that disappeared somewhere over South Carolina when the pilot piloting it had to parachute due to a "mishap."

Joint Base Charleston, an air facility located in North Charleston, said it was working with Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort to "locate an F-35 that was involved in a mishap" Sunday afternoon.

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The pilot was able to safely eject from the aircraft, an F-35B Lightning II jet, and was taken to a local medical facility in stable condition, according to a Facebook post from authorities.

The jet was left on autopilot when its helmsman ejected from the aircraft, so there's a chance it could still be in the air, said Jeremy Huggins, a spokesman for Joint Base Charleston.

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However, he also explained that searchers were focusing their attention north of the air base, around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, based on the plane's last known position and coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Asked if that meant authorities believed the plane may have crashed, Huggins said he could not give further details at this time. The FAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"How the hell do you lose an F-35?"

The circumstances that forced the pilot to eject from the plane have not yet been specified.

The incident drew some criticism, such as from Nancy Mace, R-South Carolina, who asked in a social media post, "How the hell do you lose an F-35?"

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"How is it possible that there is no tracking device and we are asking the public to find a jet and deliver it?" he wrote.

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The plane's transponder, which normally helps locate it, was not working "for some reason we have not yet determined," The Washington Post reported citing Huggins, who said he could not confirm that detail early Monday.

Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin describes the F-35 series on its website as the "world's most advanced fighter jet" as well as the "most lethal, stealthy and survivable aircraft."

The F-35 series includes three single-seat variants, including the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing, the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing, and the F-35C.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-09-18

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