While the Marine Corps suffered embarrassment last September after one of their $90 million fighter jets went missing, newly released audio files show that they made a 911 call trying to locate it.
The F-35B Lightning II went missing on September 17, 2023, over the Lowcountry region of South Carolina in what the military called a “mishap.” The pilot was able to safely eject before the jet went down.
The 911 audio revealed that the Marine Corps reached out to try and locate the missing jet.
Sorry boss, can't make it into work today. Gotta help the US government find a missing $90 million fighter jet https://t.co/b7PNQXGh2O
— Work Retire Die (@WorkRetireDie) September 18, 2023
“I believe we potentially have an aircraft that went down in Williamsburg County earlier today,” a Marine Corps major from the Air Station Beaufort told a Williamsburg County 911 dispatcher.
The dispatcher responded, “You believe you have an aircraft that went down in Williamsburg County?”
“That is correct,” the major replied. “We are trying to look for it and we are coming up dry so far.”
The call also revealed that the Marine Corps was able to provide coordinates of where they believed the jet went down on the same day as the crash. Debris from the F-35B was located outside of Charleston, South Carolina, two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston.
While the incident confused dispatch, it was just the beginning, as they received another call from a resident who reported that a pilot was in their house.
“We got a pilot in the house, and I guess he landed in my backyard, and we’re trying to see if we could get an ambulance to the house, please,” the homeowner told the dispatcher, who was in shock and had to ask for clarification.
The pilot was able to speak with dispatch and explain the situation. He reported being “OK” but experienced back pain after parachuting about 2,000 feet to the ground.
So far, it is still unknown what caused the jet to go down. The incident cost the military around $100 million.
The jet was described as “the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter jet in the world,” according to the Lockheed Martin website. It belonged to a training squadron of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.