A US Marine Corps F-35 B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter crashed in South Carolina on Friday, just outside Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, according to ABC News and other media outlets, citing military officials.
Military plane crash in Beaufort near Joe Allen Drive area. Appears to have crashed on a bluff/island owned by Clarendon Plantations. Not usually many people over there. Praying for the safety of all involved! pic.twitter.com/dM5a8v2lg1
— 𝑺𝒂𝒎 𝑹𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒔𝒐𝒏 (@SamRichardsonAM) September 28, 2018
The pilot is presumed to have ejected, but the airman’s status is unknown at this time. The military aircraft, recognized as America’s most expensive weapon, went down just before noon in a Class A mishap just five miles from the air station, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office told The Herald, a local paper, reported. A Class A mishap is a serious incident involving more than $2 million in damages or the total destruction of the aircraft
MCAS in South Carolina is reportedly home to five F/A-18 squadrons and one squadron of F-35Bs.
The incident comes just one day after a US Marine Corps F-35B achieved a major milestone in Afghanistan, where the aircraft made its combat debut Thursday against Taliban targets. While their have been accidents, fires, and incidents, such as when an F-35B burst into flames two years ago, this marks the first F-35 crash, the Marine Corps told Business Insider.