The pilot who was recently ejected from a $100 million F-35 fighter jet that went missing is reported to have done so due bad weather.
“He’s unsure of where his plane crashed, said he just lost it in the weather,” a voice was heard saying of the pilot on a Charleston County Emergency Medical Services call shared by a meteorologist Tuesday (September 20) via the New York Post.
The Marine pilot, who has not been identified publicly, landed in a North Charleston residential neighborhood and was hospitalized for injuries but has since been discharged. Military officials have not released a specific reason for the pilot's ejection, but did claim the incident was caused by a "malfunction."
The U.S. fighter jet was reported missing by the Joint Base Charleston, an air base located in North Charleston, who said it was working alongside Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort to "locate an F-35 that was involved in a mishap" that took place on Sunday (September 17). The jet was found on Monday (September 18) crashed in a wooded area in South Carolina about 60 miles from the location where the pilot parachuted to the ground, state law enforcement announced at the time.
All Marine Corps aircrafts were grounded for two days as the branch discussed "aviation safety matters and best practices" following the incident.
"During the safety stand down, aviation commanders will lead discussions with their Marines focusing on the fundamentals of safe flight operations, ground safety, maintenance and flight procedures, and maintaining combat readiness," the Pentagon said in a statement obtained by NBC News.