Military Asks Public To Help Find An F-35 That Went Missing After Its Pilot Ejected

F-35 fighter jet

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The United States military spent more than $750 billion in 2022 thanks in no small part to the expensive equipment it has in its arsenal. However, it appears its ability to keep track of some of its assets leaves a bit to be desired when you consider it was seemingly able to lose an F-35 that was involved in an incident over the weekend.

According to NBC News, the pilot of the fighter jet in question was forced to eject from the plane as the result of the unspecified “mishap” that occurred after it took off from Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina on Sunday.

While it didn’t take long to track down the pilot, the same can’t be said for the F-35, as officials released a statement asking members of the public to reach out with any information concerning its possible whereabouts after somehow managing to lose track of its location.

In another update, the military base said it believed the aircraft (an F-35B Lightning II jet that costs a cool $138.8 million to produce) crashed in the vicinity of Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, two adjacent bodies of water located around 60 miles north of Charleston.

However, a spokesperson added the jet was on autopilot when the pilot ejected, which meant there was a chance the plane continued to fly under its own power until it ran out of fuel (it’s unclear which direction it was traveling in at the time of the incident).

This isn’t the first time that F-35 model has been involved in a similar incident in the past year; in December, a pilot at a naval base in Fort Worth was filmed ejecting from the plane following an ill-fated landing during a test flight.

You might think the military would have some systems in place to ensure it does need to ask American citizens to help it find an F-35, but it appears that’s not the case.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.