Members of the Marines Corp reportedly called 911 last September after a malfunctioning F-35 fighter jet went missing after the pilot ejected from it.
The jet went missing on Sept. 17th in South Carolina after a “mishap” prompted the pilot to eject, according to ABC News.
We’re working with @MCASBeaufortSC to locate an F-35 that was involved in a mishap this afternoon. 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.
— Joint Base Charleston (@TeamCharleston) September 17, 2023
In response, a major from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort called 911.
“I believe we potentially have an aircraft that went down in Williamsburg County earlier today,” the major said.
“You believe you have an aircraft that went down in Williamsburg County?” the dispatcher asked.
“That is correct,” the major replied. “We are trying to look for it and we are coming up dry so far.”
Lost.” The US Air Force continues to search for the wreckage of the latest F-35 stealth fighter
An F-35 went missing over Southern Carolina yesterday. Joint Air Force Base Charleston reported that the pilot was okay, but that all traces of the plane had been lost . The reason… pic.twitter.com/ZcGY5264DC
— S p r i n t e r (@Sprinter99800) September 18, 2023
In the days immediately after the incident, audio footage was released of another 911 call made by a local resident who said a pilot had in fact landed in his backyard.
“We got a pilot in the house, and I guess he landed in my backyard, and we’re trying to see if we could get an ambulance to the house, please,” the homeowner said.
The homeowner then handed the phone to the pilot, who said he was “OK” but that his back hurt.
When the Marines did finally find the jet, it was wrecked.
“Personnel from Joint Base Charleston and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, in close coordination with local authorities, have located a debris field in Williamsburg County,” Joint Base Charleston announced in a statement on Facebook at the time.
“The mishap is currently under investigation, and we are unable to provide additional details to preserve the integrity of the investigative process,” the station added.
Personnel from Joint Base Charleston and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, in close coordination with local…
News of the plane’s disappearance prompted anger and frustration from members of Congress, including South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace.
“Our community deserves basic, minimum answers,” she told Charleston news station WCBD. “Mistakes happen and it’s a matter of taking responsibility, ensuring trust in the process, trust in operations, trust that the community’s going to be kept as safe as possible even when there’s a jet missing.”
It didn’t help that it was the third “mishap” to occur in a six-week period.
In a press release, the Marines said flights would be suspended so additional training could be provided.
“Following three Class-A aviation mishaps over the last six weeks, Acting Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Eric M. Smith, directed all Marine Corps aviation units to conduct a two-day stand down in operations this week to discuss aviation safety matters and best practices,” the press release read.
“During the stand down, aviation commanders will lead discussions with their Marines focusing on the fundamentals of safe flight operations, ground safety, maintenance and flight procedures, and maintaining combat readiness. This stand down is being taken to ensure the service is maintaining operational standardization of combat-ready aircraft with well-prepared pilots and crews,” the release continued.
Responding to the news that the Marines had called 911 to report their missing jet, social media users were full of jokes but also criticism.
Look (*Language warning):
Joe Biden’s Air Force. OMG we’re a fucking joke
— Eric James (@EricSlentz) January 21, 2024
The USAF should think about putting an Apple Air Tag on each F35, helps me with my luggage.
— Chad ™️ (@traip95) January 21, 2024
That thing is so stealthy they couldn’t even find it, I guess it’s kinda of a good thing but embarrassing at the same time.
— Cee-los (@Ceelos511) January 21, 2024
USA is a fucking laughing stock at this point. Not sure why people are still coming here thinking we are a great country. We suck.
— Lil Has X (@MephistoKhan) January 21, 2024
But seriously, let’s all act like this was a totally rational decision. Because, you know, when you lose a multi-million dollar military aircraft, the first thing you do is call your local police department. #FighterJetMIA #MarineCorps911Fail #MissilePhoneHome
And let’s not…
— Joe (@JoeMaristela) January 20, 2024
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