On the day following the disappearance of a Marine F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, South Carolina debris field was discovered by military authorities.
After the debris field was spotted on Monday night, two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston, the incident leadership was handed over to the Marine Corps.
Authorities started looking into the missing jet on Sunday and called it a “mishap.”
Two F-35B Lightning II jets were reportedly flying on Sunday at 2:00 p.m., according to a local report from WLTX. While one pilot successfully made a safe landing, the second pilot ejected over North Charleston after activating an unidentified automatic flight system.
The pilot ejected after a “mishap,” according to a Joint Base Charleston Facebook post.
Once found, the pilot was taken to a hospital to receive treatment. The pilot’s condition is thankfully stable. Additionally, the article mentioned that search and rescue squads are still working to find the missing F-35.
One of the locals claimed to have heard a “boom sound” on Sunday night, saying, “I heard a plane coming across.” As though it was flying at a pretty low altitude. I then heard a loud noise. That’s definitely a sonic boom, I simply accepted it. Randolph White told the local media, “You know because it was flying real fast.”
While the recovery team secured the debris field, officials warned the locals to avoid the area. In addition, they stated that the US Marine Corps will now be in charge of the event while they begin the recovery process.
To address concerns about aviation safety, the Marine Corps announced a two-day stop in operations earlier in the day.
The main explanation for the halt was provided by the Marine Corps, who listed three Class-A aircraft “mishaps” during the previous six weeks. The focus of the Marines during this vacation will be on things like proper flying techniques, ground safety, maintenance, and battle preparedness.
“This stand-down is being taken to ensure the service is maintaining operational standardization of combat-ready aircraft with well-prepared pilots and crews,” stated the Marine Corps.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R) of South Carolina was among many who were perplexed by the episode.
After receiving an uninformative briefing, Mace posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “One of the shortest meetings I’ve ever had, bc guess what, no one @usmc sent over to brief me and my staff had any answers. Shocker.”