I think it landed in my backyard": this is what a resident of South Carolina calmly explained to the American emergency call service 911, after a military pilot ejected from his F-35, according to an audio broadcast Friday, September 22.
The case has both amused and shocked the United States: on Sunday, a military base in South Carolina had called on the population to help it find a missing F-35 fighter jet. The device is estimated at $80 million. Its pilot had ejected and was doing well, she added, remaining silent on the "incident" that caused the hasty departure of the soldier.
"He landed in my garden"
It turns out that the latter was able to speak on the phone with the emergency number 911 thanks to the resident in question, according to several minutes of the call, broadcast Friday by the media in the United States. The resident first tries to explain this curious situation to a perplexed operator. "We have a driver in the house. He says he ejected from the plane. And we just wanted to know if they could send us an ambulance please," the person said. "Excuse me?" reacts the operator. "We have a driver. In the house," the resident repeats. "I think it landed in my garden." Then it is the pilot himself who speaks. "A military plane crashed. I am the pilot. We need to get help," he said. "I don't know where the plane is. It may have crashed somewhere. I ejected," he continues.
When the operator asks him what caused him to parachute, he says his plane had a "breakdown". He also explains that he feels good and just has back pain. "I just got to the ground by parachute. Could you send an ambulance please?" he said before asking her if she had been informed of a plane crash in the area. Not yet, she replies. The debris of the F-35B Lightning II, flagship of American aeronautics, was finally found Monday in South Carolina, about 24 hours after its disappearance.