The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is considered the combat aircraft most advanced in the world, is part of one of the most expensive military programs in history and is intended to gradually replace the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon in its country of origin. It is an engineering prodigy designed to attack and go unnoticed.

This last quality seems to be working too well, albeit in a scenario where it shouldn’t. The United States Armed Forces has lost one of these highly advanced aircraft and literally does not know where it is, so it has mounted a search operation in the area and is asking for help from anyone who can provide information to find it.

The pilot ejected and the plane was put on autopilot.

The incident occurred yesterday Sunday in North Charleston, South Carolina. A pilot whose identity has not been revealed ejected from a Martin F-35B Lightning II due to to a “mishap” in mid-flight. According to Joint Base Charleston, the Navy Fighter Strike Training Squadron member was taken to a medical facility in stable condition.

After the aforementioned episode, the $80 million fighter continued flying on autopilot, although authorities believe that, after a while, they should have crashed to the ground. Starting from the last known position, a search operation has been mounted that, so far, has not yielded positive results, so they are joining efforts.

Search F35

Capture from Flightradar24 showing the route of the United States Air Force planes that are part of the search operation for the F-35

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

At the time of this writing, the Navy, Air Force and Civil Air Patrol, along with local law enforcement agencies, are trying to find the aircraft location. However, from the Charleston base they have asked for people’s help. In a message on X, they request that anyone with information contact their operations center by phone.

At the moment, as CNBC points out, authorities have not confirmed whether the plane has crashed. When asked by the press, they have limited themselves to saying that “they cannot provide details to preserve the integrity of the investigation process.” The truth is that efforts are not only focused on the ground, but also in the air, with multiple Air Force search aircraft.

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Source : loosemusic