NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — A Marine Corps pilot safely ejected from a fighter jet over North Charleston on Sunday afternoon, and military officials are now focused on locating the missing aircraft.
The pilot successfully ejected and parachuted into a North Charleston neighborhood at approximately 2 p.m. Following the incident, the pilot was promptly transported to a nearby hospital and is currently in stable condition, according to Maj. Melanie Salinas. At this time, the pilot’s identity remains undisclosed.
Senior Master Sgt. Heather Stanton of Joint Base Charleston revealed that the search efforts for the missing F-35 Lightning II jet have been primarily concentrated on two lakes north of North Charleston – Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion.
Assistance from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter has been requested and has since joined the search, once the inclement weather conditions improved in the area, Stanton added. In their attempts to locate the missing aircraft, military officials have also reached out to the public for any valuable information.
Fortunately, the pilot of a second F-35 involved in the incident was able to safely return to Joint Base Charleston, confirmed Salinas.
Both planes and pilots are part of the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, stationed near South Carolina’s Atlantic coast in Beaufort.
The F-35 aircraft is manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT, -0.43%.