Pilot ejects from F-35 in North Charleston, jet recovery underway

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Recovery efforts are underway after a pilot safely ejected from a plane Sunday afternoon in North Charleston.

Joint Base Charleston says they are responding to a “mishap” involving an F-35B Lightning II jet from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 501 with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

According to officials, a pilot was found on South Kenwood Drive in North Charleston after safely ejecting from the passing plane.

Joint Base Charleston says the pilot was transported to a local medical center and is in stable condition.

His wingman, in another aircraft, safely landed at Joint Base Charleston.

Joint Base Charleston and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort are working with local law enforcement to locate the F-35.

Jeremy Huggins, a spokesman at Joint Base Charleston, told NBC News the jet was left in autopilot mode when the pilot ejected from the aircraft, so there’s a possibility it could still be airborne.

Based on the jet’s last-known position, authorities are focusing their attention north of Joint Base Charleston, around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion.

Anyone with information that may help recovery teams locate the jet should contact the Base Defense Operations Center at 843-963-3600.

“If you locate *any* portion of the aircraft, DO NOT touch, DO NOT move it,” Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said Monday morning.