The US Army can't find an F-35 and is asking citizens for help!
On September 17, an American pilot ejected from an F-35B Lighting II aircraft belonging to the 501st Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron from MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Beaufort, South Carolina.
The F-35 Lightning II is a single-seat, multi-role, stealth technology, single-engine fighter designed for both air superiority and assault missions.
In a post on X (formerly twitter), Joint Base Charleston said that based on the location and trajectory of the missing plane, the search for the F-35 Lightning II was focused on Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, north of North Charleston. "If you have information that would assist recovery teams, please call the JB Charleston base operations center at 843-963-3600,” Joint Base Charleston asked the public on social media. For those who don't know, Joint Base Charleston is a United States military facility located in the city of North Charleston, South Carolina.
First, the aircraft's transponder was malfunctioning, according to Jeremy Huggins, a spokesman at Joint Base Charleston, who spoke to Washington Post.
The strange situation following the disappearance of this device was also emphasized by local congresswoman Nancy Mace. "How the hell do you lose an F-35? How come there is no tracking device? What do we do – ask the public to find a plane and turn it in?", he declared.
Investigators are still investigating why the pilot ejected, authorities said, adding that the pilot of a second F-35 returned safely to Charleston Air Force Base. The planes and their pilots are part of the US Navy's 501st Squadron, based in Beaufort, not far from South Carolina's Atlantic coast.