A rare incident occurred on Friday, when a U.S. Military F-35 fighter jet crashed in South Carolina. The pilot, who was the only occupant of the craft, successfully ejected before impact.

Reuters reports, via Yahoo News:

F-35 fighter jet crashes in South Carolina, pilot ejects

A U.S. military F-35B fighter jet crashed near the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina on Friday, for reasons that are under investigation, local law officials and the U.S. military said.

The pilot, the only person aboard the craft, ejected safely and was being checked for injuries, said a Pentagon spokesman, adding that there were no other injuries.

The jet crashed just before noon local time. It was a Lockheed Martin F-35B, a short take-off/vertical landing version of the F-35, said a U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity…

Neither military nor local officials immediately offered a cause for the crash. Military officials said the crash was under investigation.

Lockheed referred Reuters to the military for comment on the incident.

Here are a couple of videos from the scene, first CBS News, then the Associated Press:

According to Paul Sonne of the Washington Post, this is a first for the F-35:

F-35 crashes for the first time in the jet’s 17-year history, pilot ejects safely

The U.S. military suffered its first crash of an F-35 aircraft in the 17 year history of the high-profile fighter jet program, the same day the Pentagon announced it had struck a deal with defense contractor Lockheed Martin to drive down costs for the next batch of planes to a historical low.

The crash of the Marine Corps variant of the F-35, known as the F-35B Lightning II, occurred Friday at 11:45 a.m. outside Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina, according to the Marine Corps. The service did not give a suspected cause for the crash, saying the incident remained under investigation.

“The U.S. Marine pilot safely ejected from the single-seat aircraft and is currently being evaluated by medical personnel,” the Marines said in a statement. “There were no civilian injuries.”

While we’re glad the pilot is safe, this wasn’t like wrecking a used Hyundai. This F-35 plane had a $100 million dollar price tag. Oops?

Featured image via YouTube.


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