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Debris Field From Missing F-35B Jet Found

Call off the local search party, the Marines found their $90 million jet.

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F-35 jet aircraft against a blue sky.
A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B turns on to final approach at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, after a Red Flag mission.
Image: Getty (Getty Images)

An F-35B jet that went missing over the weekend was found Monday in a bunch of little pieces scattered across a heavily wooded area in northeast South Carolina.

The debris field stretches across Williamsburg County two hours from the Joint Base Charleston. The base posted on its X profile about finding the missing jet Monday night:

The Joint Base asked for the public’s help locating the jet, as the jet’s transponder was not working during the time of the crash. The jet went missing Sunday afternoon after its pilot ejected and safely parachuted into a Charleston suburban neighborhood. The Marine Corps, it seems, is having a tough time with its expensive military hardware. This is the third “Class-A” mishap, or a mishap involving $2.5 million in equipment, a destroyed aircraft or the death or severe injury of a service member, according to the Associated Press:

“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 on Monday evening.

The Marine Corps announced earlier Monday it was pausing aviation operations for two days after the fighter jet’s crash — the third costly accident in recent weeks.

Gen. Eric Smith, the acting commandant of the Marine Corps, ordered the stand-down while authorities searched near two South Carolina lakes for the missing FB-35B Lightning II aircraft.


It’s unclear what prompted the pilot to ditch the aircraft, estimated to be worth at least $90 to $100 million dollars. The F-35 has become notorious over the last 15 years as an unreliable aircraft. Three F-35s crashed last year in routine situations, such as vertical landings.