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F-35 Gone Missing

Yazata Offline
It's a US Marine F-35B that was flying on a training mission out of MCAS Beaufort near Charleston SC. It was flying with a wingman alongside when something happened (they won't say what) and the pilot ejected. (The pilot was uninjured and the wingman landed without incident.)

But the stealth fighter didn't crash. Instead it kept flying and nobody knows where it went! If it was fully fueled it could have gone more than 1000 miles. (But it probably wasn't fully fueled for a training flight.) Since it's a stealth aircraft, it's very hard to pick up on radar. It should have had a transponder operating, but there's speculation that it might have been put out of action by the ejection seat rockets.

I'm curious what kind of emergency forced the pilot to eject, but allowed the plane to keep flying. My guess (pure speculation) is that perhaps there was a software problem that caused the plane's flight control system to stop responding to the cockpit controls. (You can't just unplug a plane and plug it back in again.) But as is their habit, the military isn't saying anything.

One would think that however far it got, if it went over land somebody would have noticed its eventual crash. Even if it was a remote rural area, a farmer would notice a plane crash out in one of his fields. So my guess (pure speculation again) is that it headed out over the Atlantic.

Right now, the military are focusing their search on a couple of lakes in the Charleston area, Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie. They must have some reason to think the plane might have ended up there, but they aren't revealing it.

They are asking the public to help find it!

(The Russians and the Chinese would love to have one of these, to reverse-engineer.)

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[Image: F6U3HY2asAEYC6R?format=jpg&name=small]

ABC news is reporting that the US Marines have ordered a two-day stand-down of all Marine Corps aviation worldwide, while they examine the F-35 "mishap" and evaluate safety procedures.
Yazata Offline
Local TV in the Charleston SC area is saying that a debris field has been located in Williamsburg county SC, about 60 miles north of Charleston. Joint Base Charleston has verified that it is the missing F-35. So it looks like the zombie jet didn't go very far with nobody at the controls.
RainbowUnicorn Offline
news headline potential
AI takes control & Ejects Pilot

i wonder how much the Pilot is worth
Hopefully the Pilot is uninjured

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