An F-35 fighter jet went missing on Sunday, September 17, 2023, near Charleston, South Carolina. The pilot was able to eject, according to a Facebook post from Joint Base Charleston. However, the jet remained missing until Monday, September 18, 2023, when some debris and wreckage were found. Additionally, details are still unclear as to why the pilot was forced to eject.
About The F-35 Fighter Jet
According to Lockheed Martin, the maker of aircraft, the F-35B Lightning II jet is “the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter jet in the world,” with unrivaled capabilities. The $100 million aircraft’s debris was found about two hours from Joint Base Charleston.
The U.S. Marine Corps has begun its investigation into what happened on Sunday. Prior to finding the wreckage, the military had asked for the public’s help in finding the aircraft.
Overall, the F-35 jet program is estimated to cost $1.7 trillion. With such a costly and high-tech program, some are wondering how such an aircraft could go missing, including Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C. The U.S. Marine Corps has begun an investigation into what went wrong.
Thankfully, the pilot involved was released from the hospital, and no further injuries were reported.
U.S. Marine Corps Pauses Flights
There have been two other incidents over the last six weeks involving aviation units. In response, the U.S. Marine Corps has ordered an aviation stand down. During this stand down, commanders will discuss flight safety, ground safety, maintenance and flight procedures, and readiness for combat.
These discussions and procedures will take place this week over a two-day period.