The search for a missing F-35 military jet in South Carolina has led to the discovery of debris, according to US military officials. The $100 million plane disappeared on Sunday afternoon after the pilot ejected over Williamsburg County. The wreckage was found in a rural area, two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston. The pilot was able to parachute to safety in a North Charleston neighborhood.
The search efforts had focused on the last known location of the jet, near Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion. The debris that has been found has been confirmed as belonging to the missing plane. The jet was in autopilot mode when the pilot ejected, potentially causing it to remain airborne for some time. This has made the search more challenging, as the electronics necessary for tracking its location may have been damaged or destroyed.
There is speculation that the aircraft may have continued flying after the pilot ejected, but experts believe this is highly unlikely. The ejection seat and the absence of the canopy would have caused significant damage to the aircraft and changed its aerodynamics.
Further updates on this breaking news story will be provided shortly.