In a recent development, officials have identified a debris field believed to be the remnants of an F-35 fighter jet that went missing north of Charleston, South Carolina. The incident occurred on Sunday, and the recovery process is now being led by the Marine Corps. Here, we delve into the details of this mysterious mishap.
Missing F-35 Fighter Jet:
On a Sunday north of Charleston, a pilot from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 had to eject from their F-35B Lightning II jet. While the pilot safely landed and was taken to a local medical center in stable condition, the whereabouts of the jet remained a mystery. Emergency teams, including the Navy, FAA, Civil Air Patrol, and local/state police agencies, began the search operation.
The squadron in question primarily focuses on training pilots and supporting F-35 operations, including airshow demonstrations. It’s a big achievement for the pilot that he landed safely and securely, which shows his skills
And the rigorous training, he went through.
Investigation of F-35 fighter Jet :
As of now, the incident is under investigation, and officials are withholding additional details until the inquiry is completed. The cause of the pilot’s decision to abandon the aircraft remains unknown, and the incident is being referred to as a “mishap.” The Marine Corps and other agencies involved in the search are working diligently to unravel the circumstances surrounding the disappearance.
Previous Fighter Jet Incidents:
This recent mishap follows a similar incident in 2018 when another Marine Corps F-35B crashed in South Carolina. Fortunately, the pilot ejected safely in that case as well. The 2018 crash was attributed to a faulty fuel tube, prompting inspections of the entire F-35 fleet. Additionally, an Air Force F-35A crashed in Utah in 2022 due to turbulence from another F-35A’s wake, and an F-35A operated by Japan crashed in 2019 due to pilot disorientation.
Cost and Development:
The F-35B variant, like the one lost in this incident, comes with an estimated cost of approximately $80 million. This fighter jet emerged from two decades of development that initially inflated its price. However, efforts have been made to reduce costs as production increased. Ten years ago, the Marine version of the F-35 fighter jet exceeded $160 million in cost, but Lockheed Martin, the main contractor, expected prices to decrease as more fighters were manufactured.
The mysterious disappearance of the F-35 fighter jet near Charleston, SC, has prompted a comprehensive investigation. While the pilot’s safe ejection is a relief, the incident raises questions about the aircraft’s safety and the need for continued scrutiny. As the search for answers continues, officials are committed to uncovering the truth behind this recent mishap.