The US military is appealing to the public to help them find a missing plane after a pilot ejected from an F-35B Lightning II jet.
The “mishap” forced an unnamed pilot to eject from the plane – one of the US military’s most expensive at around $135.8 million – as they were flying near Joint Base Charleston on Sunday.
“We’re working with [Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort] to locate an F-35 that was involved in a mishap this afternoon,” Joint Base Charleston posted on X (formerly known as Twitter). “The pilot ejected safely. If you have any information that may help our recovery teams locate the F-35, please call the Base Defense Operations Center at 843-963-3600.”
“Based on the jet’s last-known position and in coordination with the FAA, we are focusing our attention north of JB Charleston, around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion,” they added.
The pilot was found near South Kenwood Drive in North Charleston having safely ejected from the plane, and was taken to a local medical center where they are in stable condition, according to local outlet News 2. The mishap will be under investigation, according to a United States Marine Corps statement to Insider.
While this may seem like a doozy of a weapon to misplace, the US has lost worse. There are, at least according to the officially released count, six nuclear weapons that have been lost by various branches of the military. One happens to also be in North Carolina, after the wing of a B-52 bomber carrying the weapon broke apart, forcing both pilots to eject. The bomb has not been found since it was lost in 1961.