U.S. Military Asks Public for Help in Locating Missing F-35 Still Flying After Pilot’s Emergency Egress

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Drawing online mockery and tomfoolery is a developing indiscretion involving a rogue F-35 stealth fighter that went missing in South Carolina after its pilot ejected. The internet has responded in kind on multiple platforms, posting “Missing-Jet” fliers on lamp posts, notices on milk cartons, and mashed up Dude, Where’s My F-35 movie posters.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Unbelievable as it may seem, this wouldn’t be the first time a military aircraft has flown on without its pilot. Toward the end of the Cold War, for example, one Soviet pilot witnessed his jet fly off without him after he ejected from it and continued flying for over 500 miles.

On Sunday afternoon, Joint Base Charleston confirmed a “mishap involving an F-35B Lightning II jet” in which the pilot had to eject. Joint Base Charleston didn’t give further details on the incident or what specifically prompted the ejection, but it did request the public’s help in locating the missing jet.

Joint Base Charleston is working in conjunction with Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing out of MCAS Cherry Point, Navy Region Southeast, the FAA, the Civil Air Patrol, as well as local, county, and state law enforcement across South Carolina.

Their Facebook post reads, “Teams continue to search for the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II, using both ground and air assets. We appreciate the support we’ve received from our mission partners and every organization involved, as integrated teams are searching and preparing for the recovery of the jet.”

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that is intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions. Last year Lockheed announced “Project Carrera”, a multi-year investment wherein the company plans to sink $100 Mn of its own money into drones, artificial intelligence, and upgrades to the F-35.