It’s so stealth, they can’t find it.
Authorities are asking for help from the public to locate a missing jet that vanished over South Carolina after the pilot ejected due to an unspecified “mishap.” The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon, with Joint Base Charleston and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort collaborating on the search effort.
The missing aircraft, an F-35B Lightning II, is renowned as the “Most Advanced Fighter Jet in the World” by aerospace giant Lockheed Martin. It boasts exceptional stealth capabilities, making detection more challenging than conventional aircraft.
According to officials, the pilot put the jet on autopilot and ejected over North Charleston. The pilot was successfully evacuated and transported to a local medical facility in stable condition.
As of Monday morning, the pilot’s condition is said to be stable but details remained undisclosed. The details surrounding the nature of the “mishap” has also remained unclear. Both Joint Base Charleston and the US Air Force had not yet responded to requests for comment.
A local report citing authorities say that the jet does not appear to have crashed.
The search area is primarily concentrated north of Joint Base Charleston around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, based on the jet’s last-known position and coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which had not responded to inquiries at the time of reporting.
Criticism arose in response to the incident, with Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) expressing incredulity via social media, questioning how such a sophisticated aircraft could go missing without a tracking device.
Jeremy Huggins, a spokesman at Joint Base Charleston, told the Washington Post that the jet’s transponder, normally used to locate aircraft, was not functioning for an undetermined reason.
“So that’s why we put out the public request for help,” he said. “The aircraft is stealth, so it has different coatings and different designs that make it more difficult than a normal aircraft to detect.”
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