An F-35 fighter jet has gone missing in stealth mode after a U.S. pilot had to eject from the plane somewhere over South Carolina due to a “mishap.”
Joint Base Charleston, an air base in North Charleston, shared the news of the incident, asking the public for its help in finding the fighter jet.
The base said in its release it was also working with Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort to “locate an F-35 that was involved in a mishap” on Sunday.
The base shared in a Facebook post on Sunday evening that the pilot was able to eject from the F-35B II jet safely and was taken to a local hospital in stable condition.
Since the incident, there has been no clarification as to what the mishap was that resulted in the pilot needing to eject.
The public is being asked to “cooperate with military and civilian authorities” as they work to locate the jet.
“If you have any information that would assist the recovery teams, please call the JB Charleston Base Defense Operations Center at 843-963-3600,” Joint Base Charleston said.
The air base is currently searching for the plane to the north around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, its last known location with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Republican South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace took to social media to criticize the incident, questioning how a fighter jet could go missing.
“How in the hell do you lose an F-35?” Mace asked. “How is there not a tracking device, and we’re asking the public to what, find a jet and turn it in?”
Jeremy Huggins, a spokesman at the base, spoke with The Washington Post about the missing jet, saying that the transponder, which helps locate it, was not working “for some reason that we haven’t yet determined.”
“So that’s why we put out the public request for help,” Huggins said, adding that the plane was in “stealth, so it has different coatings and different designs that make it more difficult than a normal aircraft to detect.”