F-35B Crash Leads to USMC Stand Down
The U.S. Marine Corps has announced a two day safety stand down today in response to three Class-A aviation incidents over the past six weeks. The most recent event involved a Marine Corps Lockheed F-35B. In that incident, a pilot ejected safely but the aircraft flew on, initially leaving no trace as to its whereabouts.
This lead to the unusual situation where the X (former Twitter) account of the responsible installation, Joint Base Charleston, posted a message to the public asking for help, which read in part, "The pilot ejected safely. If you have any information that may help our recovery teams locate the F-35, please call the Base Defense Operations Center..."
Late today, the same X account posted that the search teams, "...have located a debris field in Williamsburg County. The debris was discovered two hours northeast of JB Charleston."
As this story is published, despite reaching out to the appropriate Marine Corps contacts, AeroSpaceNews.com can not confirm that the sited debris is in fact the missing F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
According to a statement from the Marine Corps, Acting Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Eric M. Smith, today directed all Marine aviation units to carry out a two day stand down to, "discuss aviation safety matters and best practices."
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