Home » The U.S. Military Is Literally Asking The Public To Help Find A Lost Fighter Jet That’s Been Flying On Autopilot

The U.S. Military Is Literally Asking The Public To Help Find A Lost Fighter Jet That’s Been Flying On Autopilot

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The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II multipurpose fighter jet is one of the biggest military tech gambles in recent history. A next-generation aircraft with vertical takeoff capabilities, it’s the sort of equipment you’d expect to be kept closely-guarded to keep the free world safe. Well, if you thought you were having a bad day, you should probably see this: Joint Base Charleston (which is home to the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, and Coast Guard) claims it’s misplaced an F-35B Lightning II somewhere over the Carolinas after an unfortunate ejection incident.

F35b Mcas Beaufort

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According to an NBC News report, this episode of Dude, Where’s My Fighter Jet was caused by the pilot ejecting while the jet was still on autopilot. On the plus side, according to Joint Base Charleston’s Facebook page, “The pilot ejected safely and was transferred to a local medical center in stable condition.” Remember, even though an F-35B costs in the neighborhood of $80 million, it’s replaceable while human lives aren’t. As for why the pilot ejected, Joint Base Charleston claims a “mishap,” but a detailed cause isn’t available yet.

As it stands, the jet remains at large, but don’t be alarmed — that puppy should’ve definitely come down by now. The Washington Post reports that “the search is being concentrated near Lake Moultrie, a murky body of water that is 75 feet deep at its deepest point and 14 miles across at its widest.” Roughly 50 miles by car from Charleston, S.C., Lake Moultrie is one of the largest lakes in South Carolina, so it should certainly be large enough to hide a mechanical bird.

This isn’t the first F-35 to temporarily disappear, as in 2022, a pilot in an F-35C bounced off the deck of the USS Carl Vinson and ended up in the South China Sea. Mercifully, nobody died in this incident, although according to the United States Naval Institute, it took more than a month to find and recover the wreckage from the blue depths.

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Thankfully, we shouldn’t see a repeat of the Douglas C-54D disappearance in 1950, partly because South Carolina is substantially more populated than the Yukon and partly thanks to modern technology. With vehicle tracking and satellite guidance, the military should know roughly where the F-35B Lightning II should’ve gone down, so they aren’t completely guessing with the search. Mind you, there is some level of approximation involved here — the Washington Post reports that the F-35B Lightning II jet’s transponder wasn’t working at the time of the incident.

Missing Fighter Jet Facebook Post

If you live roughly in the vicinity of Charleston, S.C. and happen to have seen an F-35B Lightning II go down in the past, oh, 24 hours or so, you might want to drop the military a line. As Joint Base Charleston wrote in a Facebook post, If you have any information that would assist the recovery teams, please call the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Public Affairs Office at 252-466-3827.” In the meantime, does anyone want to go fishing? I bet one of those Pratt & Whitney turbofan engine would really perk up the performance of Jason’s Changli.

(Photo credits: Lockheed Martin)

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Scott
Scott
9 months ago

I know it’s comparing apples to IUDs or torque wrenches, but neither the F35 or F22 can hold a candle to the charm of the original A10. Go Warthog! 😀

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

“Remember, even though an F-35B costs in the neighborhood of $80 million, it’s replaceable while human lives aren’t.”

Of course human lives are replaceable! Replacements are called “babies”. ” Babies” tend to cost a whole lot less than $80M and there’s certainly no shortage of them. Most of the time they’re free. Sometimes people just give them away.

Not many people just give away fighter planes though. Even old, broken ones will cost you.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
10 months ago

That’s only about 4 years pay for GM, Ford and Stellantis CEOs for one of those jets. They could easily get some financing and buy one. Maybe the rest of the Auto workers could get some better pay…

JunkerDave
JunkerDave
10 months ago

Can’t you even get automatic parking on a Hyundai? And this $90M jet can’t ease itself into a parking space without self-destruction?

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
10 months ago

This is the most ‘Murica story of the day. I know I could have been born in a number of places that are much worse, but I also could have done better.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
10 months ago

To be fair, premature ejection is becoming more common in younger men.

T-wrecks
T-wrecks
10 months ago
Reply to  Rollin Hand

Hopefully he doesn’t get shamed for it.

Last edited 10 months ago by T-wrecks
That guy
That guy
10 months ago
Reply to  Rollin Hand

COTD

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
10 months ago

Our government: universal healthcare will never be doable, it’s just too expensive. It’s a pie in the sky goal. Where would the money possibly come from?!

Also our government: lol we had a whoopsie and lost one of our $90,000,000 toys, let us know if you see it

Last edited 10 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Usernametaken
Usernametaken
10 months ago

More people are employed in health insurance in ‘Merica than we’re ever employed in the coal industry at peak coal.

Even Republicans (Reganomics! Freedom®) refuse to touch the fact that you can’t buy health insurance across state lines. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out whose pockets are lined with what

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
10 months ago
Reply to  Usernametaken

We also currently have the most expensive healthcare in the world by a country mile with outcomes that lag behind pretty much all other first world countries! SO FREEDOM! MUCH HEALTHCARE! WOW!

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
10 months ago

As a Canadian, it boggles my fucking mind that there is a significant contingent of Everyday Americans who advocate against healthcare. Yeah, Canadians sometimes have to wait a little while to get our free surgeries. Oh no!

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
10 months ago

Most of my Canadian relatives come to the US for the important stuff. The US is like their backup. They would be so mad if that went away.

My cousin’s son just got an automatic glucose monitor that has been available in the US for a decade. Was just approved in Canada.

It’s a weird mix I don’t quite fully grasp.

Don Mynack
Don Mynack
9 months ago

Canadian on this shit again. Film at 11.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
9 months ago

Because US healthcare is already fucked, switching who pays for it doesn’t solve the problem, it makes it worse.

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