Search continues for missing F-35 jet after pilot safely ejects

Search continues for missing F-35 jet after pilot safely ejects

The search is on for a missing F-35 fighter jet after a United States Marine Corps pilot safely ejected from the aircraft in South Carolina over the weekend.

Military officials said the pilot was flying near Joint Base Charleston on Sunday afternoon when an undisclosed reason forced them to eject from the aircraft. The pilot parachuted safely into a North Charleston neighborhood, but the F-35 Lightning II jet was still unaccounted for and the aircraft’s tracker is not working for unknown reasons. Officials said they’re still investigating exactly what prompted the pilot to evacuate the aircraft.

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Now, military officials are calling on the public to help locate the jet. A South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter has joined the search that is currently focused on Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, both of which are located just north of North Charleston. 

The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation stealth fighter jet developed by Lockheed Martin for the United States and its allied nations. The jet comes in three main variants and, while some can cost more than $150 million, that figure can vary significantly depending on several factors, including economies of scale as more units are produced, and inflation. It’s still unclear how much the missing jet is worth.

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