Military officials located a debris field in South Carolina one day after a Marine F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jet went missing.
The debris field was located two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston. Joint Base Charleston transferred incident command to the Marine Corps on Monday night once the debris field was found, officials announced.
On Sunday, officials described the missing jet as a “mishap” and announced an investigation.
As Breitbart News reported:
A local report by WLTX said two F-35B Lightning II jets were flying around 2 p.m. Sunday when one of the pilots landed without incident, but the other “enabled an unspecified automated flight system and ejected over North Charleston.”
According to a post by Joint Base Charleston on Facebook, the pilot ejected after a “mishap.”
The pilot was found and taken to a hospital for treatment, and is in stable condition, according to the Facebook post. “Emergency response teams are still trying to locate the F-35,” the post said.
One local resident described hearing a “boom sound” on Sunday night.
“I heard a plane coming across. Seem like it was flying relatively low. Then I heard a boom sound. Well, I just took it and said well it’s probably a sonic boom. You know when they because it was flying real fast,” Randolph White told local outlets.
“Members of the community should avoid the area as the recovery team secures the debris field,” officials said in a statement. “We are transferring incident command to the USMC this evening, as they begin the recovery process.”
Members of the community should avoid the area as the recovery team secures the debris field. We are transferring incident command to the USMC this evening, as they begin the recovery process.
— Joint Base Charleston (@TeamCharleston) September 18, 2023
Earlier on Monday, the Marine Corps announced a two-day pause on operations “to discuss aviation safety matters and best practices.”
“This stand down [is] being taken to ensure the service is maintaining operational standardization of combat-ready aircraft with well-prepared pilots and crews,” the Marine Corps said in a press release.
“This pause invests time and energy in reinforcing the Marine aviation community’s established policies, practices and procedures in the interests of public safety, protecting our Marines and sailors, and ensuring the Marine Corps remains a ready and highly-trained fighting force,” the press release continued.