Debris of F-35B: An F-35 fighter jet mysteriously vanished in the skies over South Carolina, and investigators have started looking into the event. After being forced to eject from the aircraft, the pilot was subsequently discovered to be in stable condition and was brought to a nearby hospital.
The incident took place close to Charleston, and once the pilot ejected from the fighter jet, it vanished. The jet’s debris field was identified about two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston after a thorough search involving numerous agencies from the air and on the ground.
The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II plane is known as “the most lethal, survivable, and connected fighter jet in the world.” It costs roughly $100 million per aircraft, which is a hefty price tag. Over the course of the aircraft’s life, the entire F-35 programme is expected to cost a startling $1.7 trillion.
🇺🇸 💥 Footage of F-35B wreckage and debris at crash site in Williams County, South Carolina. #F35 #F35Crash #F35B #LockheedMartin #SouthCarolina #Charleston #CrashSite #F35Jet #F35Mishap #F35Mystery pic.twitter.com/iP7EMLg6vz
— Off the Radar (@offoftheradar) September 19, 2023
Unknown is the precise reason why the pilot ejected from the plane on Sunday. The circumstances leading up to the fighter jet’s ejection and subsequent disappearance will probably be a focus of the accident inquiry.
Aerial Footage Reveals Debris of F-35B
The F-35 fighter jet’s disappearance in South Carolina has sparked a lot of inquiries and worries. According to experts, the aircraft’s transponder may have been harmed during the pilot’s ejection, making it hard for the military to determine its whereabouts. Although it’s technically feasible for the jet to keep flying after the ejection, experts view it as “extremely unlikely” because of the damage the ejection seat would have caused and the substantial change in aerodynamics when the canopy is removed.
The FB-35B Lightning II missing jet belongs to the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, which is in charge of instructing pilots. While another F-35 flying alongside it successfully returned to the base, the ejected pilot was brought to the hospital and was said to be in stable condition.
People criticised and made fun of the situation online, with some asking how a cutting-edge fighter jet could go missing without a tracking system. The site of the aircraft’s crash may have been chosen by its pre-planned flight waypoints and fuel estimates. The aircraft was a stealth jet designed to operate unnoticed by hostile radar.
To address aviation safety issues and best practises, the US Marine Corps this week announced a two-day suspension of flying operations. This incident is the Marine Corps’ third “Class-A mishap” in the last six weeks, a level of incident that results in damage of more than $2.5 million. Previous occurrences include a tragic Osprey tilt-rotor plane crash and a training exercise jet disaster.
Following a mishap in South Carolina in 2018, the US military temporarily grounded the whole fleet of F-35 aircraft. In order to prevent similar occurrences in the future, the investigation into the recent loss of the F-35 fighter plane is expected to focus on the causes and contributing factors.