The pilot of an F-35 that weirdly went missing ended up parachuting into someone's backyard after ejecting

The pilot of an F-35 that weirdly went missing ended up parachuting into someone's backyard after ejecting
Airmen from Joint Base Charleston speak to a family living right next to the site of a crashed F-35 about the operation to recover the fighter jet and requests for the family in Williamsburg County, S.C., on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.Henry Taylor/The Post And Courier via AP
  • The pilot of the F-35 fighter jet that went missing ejected and landed in the backyard of a South Carolina home.
  • The Associated Press reported that the pilot parachuted safely into the backyard on Sunday.

The pilot of the US stealth fighter jet who ejected from the aircraft during a training mishap wound up parachuting into the backyard of a home in South Carolina, according to the Associated Press.

The AP, citing an anonymous US Marine Corps official, reported that the pilot of the $100 million F-35B Lightning II jet touched down safely in the home's backyard on Sunday as the warplane flew on pilotless and went missing before ultimately crashing.

The pilot, who has not been identified, was not seriously injured and has since been released from a local medical center, according to the news outlet.

While flying at roughly 1,000 feet and just one mile north of Charleston International Airport on Sunday, the jet pilot "experienced a malfunction and was forced to eject," the AP reported, citing a situation report that the news outlet obtained from the Marine Corps official.

"He's unsure of where his plane crashed, said he just lost it in the weather," a person can be heard saying in audio from a Charleston County Emergency Medical Services call that was shared online by a local meteorologist on Tuesday, according to the AP.


The stealth fighter jet wound up crashing into a wooded area about 60 miles away from where the pilot ejected, but the debris field from the aircraft was not discovered until the next day.

"The debris was discovered two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston," officials from the base previously told Insider. "Members of the community should avoid the area as the recovery team secures the debris field."

Local news outlet WMBF reported parts of the aircraft were found near Bartells Road in Indiantown, South Carolina.

Before the jet was found, the US military called on help from the public to locate the missing aircraft.

Meanwhile, Joint Base Charleston spokesman Jeremy Huggins initially told NBC News the jet was left on autopilot when the pilot ejected, but has since walked those comments back, according to the news outlet, saying authorities are still investigating.