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Business News/ News / World/  US F-35 fighter jet missing in South Caroline, search op underway; Congresswoman reacts

A US fighter jet went missing in South Carolina following a training mishap. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter joined the search operation to find the F-35 jet, according to a report published by The Associated Press.

The ministry officials informed that a Marine Corps pilot safely ejected from a fighter jet over North Charleston on Sunday afternoon and the search for his missing aircraft was focused on two lakes north of North Charleston.

South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace wondered ‘How in the hell do you lose an F-35?’ and ‘How is there not a tracking device?’

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the Congresswoman wrote, “Now that I got that out of the way. How in the hell do you lose an F-35? How is there not a tracking device and we’re asking the public to what, find a jet and turn it in?"

The pilot ejected and parachuted safely into a North Charleston neighborhood at about 2 p.m. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was in stable condition, said Maj. Melanie Salinas. The pilot's name has not been released, AP reported. 

Senior Master Sgt. Heather Stanton at Joint Base Charleston said that the search for the F-35 Lightning II jet was focused on Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion. The search operation was started on the basis of the missing plane's location and trajectory. 

The military officials appealed in online posts Sunday for any help from the public in locating the aircraft. The authorities said that officials are still investigating why the pilot was ejected, as per AP reports. 

The pilot of a second F-35 returned safely to Joint Base Charleston, Salinas said. The planes and pilots were with the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 based in Beaufort, not far from South Carolina's Atlantic coast.


(With AP inputs)

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Updated: 18 Sep 2023, 09:31 AM IST
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