Curated By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar
Last Updated: September 19, 2023, 11:42 IST
North Charleston, South Carolina
American authorities on Monday located the crash site for a stealth fighter jet that went missing during the weekend after its pilot ejected in rural South Carolina. The military asked the public to help it find the aircraft which was built to escape detection.
A report by the Associated Press said that the debris field was discovered in Williamsburg County, about two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston. The residents of the area were told to avoid the area as a recovery team worked to secure it.
We would like to thank all of our mission partners, as well as local, county, and state authorities, for their dedication and support throughout the search and as we transition to the recovery phase.— Joint Base Charleston (@TeamCharleston) September 18, 2023
“We are transferring incident command to the USMC this evening, as they begin the recovery process,” Joint Base Charleston posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The pilot who ejected from the jet has not yet been named but was taken to a hospital where he remains in a stable condition. “The mishap is currently under investigation, and we are unable to provide additional details to preserve the integrity of the investigative process,” the Marine Corps said in a press release.
This is the third such accident the Marine Corps experienced in recent weeks and it announced on Monday that it is halting aviation operations for two days after the fighter jet’s crash.
This is the third-such incident to be documented as Class-A mishap over the past six weeks, according to the announcement by the Marine Corps.
Accidents or mishaps are categorised as Class-A mishap when damages reach $2.5 million or more, a Department of Defense aircraft is destroyed, or someone dies or is permanently disabled.
The order to halt operations came from General Eric Smith as authorities searched near two South Carolina lakes for the missing FB-35B Lightning II aircraft.
During the stand-down period commanders will reinforce safe flying policies, practices and procedures with their Marines
Though the press release did not reveal details of the two previous incidents, the Associated Press report said that in August, three US marine were killed during a training exercise in Australia when a V-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft crashed and a Marine Corps pilot was killed when his combat jet crashed near a San Diego base during a training flight.
The authorities said that they are probing what prompted the pilot to eject from the aircraft Sunday. They initially searched Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, lakes which are located north of North Charleston.