US searches for missing F-35 fighter jet after mishap

US searches for missing F-35 fighter jet after mishap

Washington: The US military said on Monday it was still searching for an F-35 fighter jet after a mishap on Sunday near an air base in South Carolina and has asked for the public’s help locating it.

The pilot of the F-35B Lightning II jet ejected safely from the aircraft, according to a statement from Joint Base Charleston.

Missing: A United States Marine Corps F-35B.Credit: AP

“If you have any information that may help our recovery teams locate the F-35, please call the Base Defence Operations Centre at 843-963-3600,” the base said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The $US80 million ($124 million) fighter jet’s main advantages, according to its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, are that it is nearly impossible to track with radar and is packed with advanced sensors and other gear.

Based on the jet’s last known position, the base said search efforts were focused north of the base around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion. That could suggest the plane may have crashed in water, which would make it difficult to locate.

The pilot, whose name hasn’t been released, parachuted to safety into a North Charleston neighborhood at around 2pm on Sunday. He was taken to a hospital, where he was in stable condition, Marines Major Melanie Salinas said Sunday.

The FAA referred queries on the issue to the U.S. military.

Reuters, AP with staff reporter

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