The remains of an F-35 fighter jet were discovered yesterday after it went missing on Sunday. According to a statement filed by the personnel at Joint Base Charleston, the debris was discovered in a location that was situated two hours on the northeastern side of the base.
The statement further stated that they are 'transferring incident command' to the US Marine Corps, who will be initiating the process to recover the discovered remains.
The incident is currently under investigation, and hence the officials are unable to provide any additional details about what exactly happened. The air force base officials also issued a warning to the people living near the debris location to avoid that area.
The incident took place on Sunday on the northern side of Charleston, South Carolina. Reports state that a pilot belonging to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 was ejected from the seat of an F-35B Lightning II fighter jet plane.
As per a statement from Joint Base Charleston on Sunday, the pilot ejected safely and was admitted to a local hospital in a stable condition.
Emergency teams from the air force base started their search for the fighter jet on Sunday. On this search, they were assisted by the Navy, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Civil Air Patrol, and other local and state police units.
The fighter plane is part of a squadron that trains pilots and support teams on F-35 jet planes. This team also takes active participation in air show demonstrations.
As per Jeremy Huggins, a spokesperson from Joint Base Charleston, the jet was in autopilot mode when the pilot ejected. The air force authorities further believe that the jet might have been airborne for some time after the pilot ejected.
Huggins added that the initial search for the aircraft started in Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, areas that lie on the northern side of the air force base. This was based on the aircraft's last known location coordinates.
As of this moment, the reason why the pilot ejected remains unknown. As per the Marine Corps and others who were involved in the search process, this incident has been termed a 'mishap.'
The incident has garnered criticism on social media. US Congresswoman Nancy Mace posted on X (formerly Twitter) about the incident, stating, 'How in the hell do you lose an F-35?'