Debris from an F-35 fighter jet that disappeared after a pilot was ejected has been found.
The wreckage was discovered hours after the US military called for the public’s help in searching for the aircraft.
A pilot ejected and parachuted to safety in residential North Carolina on Sunday afternoon. However, the fighter jet worth $80million mysteriously vanished.
Joint Base Charleston on Monday evening announced that the wreckage was found in a field about two hours northeast of Charleston, South Carolina, in Williamsburg County.
‘We would like to thank all of our mission partners, as well as local, county, and state authorities, for their dedication and support throughout the search and as we transition to the recovery phase,’ wrote the base on X (formerly Twitter).
The base added that community members ‘should avoid the area as the recovery team secures the debris field’.
Agencies that assisted in searching for the plane included the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing out of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, the Navy Region Southeast, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Civil Air Patrol and state, county and local agencies.
The pilot who ejected around 2pm on Sunday was transported to a local hospital and was in stable condition, according to Major Melanie Salinas. He was not immediately identified.
Military authorities had called the incident a ‘mishap’ and focused search efforts around two lakes north of Charleston.
Another F-35 fighter jet in the air at the same time returned to the base safely.
F-35’s are manufactured by Lockheed Martin and are among the most advanced fighter jets in the world.
The missing F-35 was found about a month after the remains of a World War II fighter pilot who crashed and disappeared during a mission were identified. Second Lieutenant Fred L Brewer Jr, 23, flew his P-51C Mustang out of Ramitelli Air Field in Italy in October 1944 and did not return to the air field. US personnel recovered a body from a civilian cemetery at the end of the war, but the remains were not identified as him until 79 years later.
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