Pilot ejects safely before F-35B crashes in South Carolina

Posted at 12:42 PM, Sep 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-28 14:54:39-04

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) – Authorities say a military jet has crashed but the pilot was able to eject from the aircraft in coastal South Carolina.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said the crash was reported about 11:45 a.m. Friday near the Grays Hill community and the pilot is being checked for injuries. No one on the ground was hurt.

F-35B Lightning II
An F-35B Lightning II aircraft taxis aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. Photo: Lance Cpl. Benjamin McDonald

A military official says the plane is a Marine F-35B fighter jet on a routine training mission. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss information before it is made public.

The Marine version of the jet is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. One flew its first combat mission Thursday in Afghanistan. The jet costs about $100 million.

The crash happened about 4 miles west of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

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