After the pilot of one of the US military’s $100 million (£80 million) F-35B fighter jets ejected from the craft, the public is being enlisted to help find the missing aircraft.
The pilot was over the southern state of South Carolina on Sunday afternoon when it vanished.
The pilot, who has not been identified, successfully parachuted out. In the hospital, his condition is stable.
Officials did not specify what the “mishap” was; they only indicated that the aircraft was engaged.
A spokeswoman for Joint Base Charleston told NBC News that the aircraft was in autopilot when the pilot ejected and that it may have been in the air for some time.
Authorities stated that they were concentrating their searches north of Charleston, around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion.
Based on where the jet was last seen, a search area was chosen.
How the hell do you lose an F-35, questioned Nancy Mace, a Republican representative from South Carolina, on X, formerly Twitter?
We’re urging the public to, “Find a jet and turn it in,” but there isn’t a tracking device.
The aircraft is a stealth jet, which means that its airframe, sensors, and systems are built to function without being picked up by hostile radar.
Joint Base Charleston sent out a need for assistance on X. The statement read, “Emergency response teams are still looking for the F-35.”
“As the effort continues, the public is urged to cooperate with military and civilian authorities.”
It urged anyone who might have knowledge that could aid its recovery crews to get in touch with its operations center.
Multiple aircraft can be seen patrolling the region in a photograph shared on X by flight tracker Flightradar24.
In a statement to the BBC, the Marine Corps stated that it currently had “limited” knowledge of the incident and was working to learn more.
It was also said that the incident was “under investigation”.
According to Lockheed Martin, the jet’s maker, the cost is roughly $100 million.
According to Maj Melanie Salinas, a military spokesperson, a second F-35 that was in the air at the same moment has safely returned to base.
Following a mishap in South Carolina in 2018, the US military temporarily grounded its entire fleet of F-35 aircraft.