OAN’s Roy Francis
8:19 AM – Tuesday, September 19, 2023
United States military officials said that they have located the wreckage of the missing F-35 fighter jet that went missing during the weekend after the pilot ejected.
On Monday, officials said that a debris field was found in Williamsburg County, in rural South Carolina around two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston.
The military had previously asked the public for help in finding the aircraft, however now that it has been found, they are asking residents of the area to avoid the crash site while a recovery team works to secure the wreckage.
“We are transferring incident command to the USMC this evening, as they begin the recovery process,” Joint base Charleston posted on X.
Military officials have been searching for the aircraft since the pilot ejected from it and parachuted into a North Charleston neighborhood on Sunday afternoon. The military said that the pilot, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital and he is in stable condition.
General Eric Smith, the acting commandant of the Marine Corps, suspended air operation for the Marine Corps for two days after the incident on Sunday, which is the third such incident in recent weeks. The reason for the latest incident remains unknown as no details were given by the marine corps while they conduct their investigation.
“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 news release.
As the investigation is being conducted, the Marine Corps said that they will utilize the suspension of air operation in order to reinforce safe flying procedures with the Marine pilots.
“This pause invests time and energy in reinforcing the Marine aviation community’s established policies, practices and procedures in the interests of public safety, protecting our Marines and sailors, and ensuring the Marine Corps remains a ready and highly-trained fighting force,” the Marine Corps said.
The news release did not mention the two previous incidents. However, in August three Marines were killed when a V-22B Osprey aircraft crashed during an exercise in Australia. A Marine pilot also died in San Diego after an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet crashed near the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar during flight training in late August.
The jet involved in the latest incident in South Carolina was an FB-35B Lightning II aircraft that belongs to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 which trains pilot to meet annual training requirements.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts