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Authorities find wreckage of fighter that disappeared in the US after pilot ejected

Debris identified as being from an F-35 fighter jet that disappeared on Sunday (17) near the city of Charleston, South Carolina, in the United States after its pilot had to eject, was found this Monday (18), according to with the Marine Corps and a Defense official with knowledge of the search.

The debris field is approximately two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston, which led the search. Now, the unit “is transferring command of the incident to the United States Marine Corps this evening as they begin the recovery process,” the Marines highlighted in a press release.

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The public has been warned to avoid the area so the recovery team can secure the debris field and begin the evacuation process.

On Sunday, the pilot ejected safely after an “accident” involving the jet and was taken to a local medical center in stable condition, Joint Base Charleston said in a Facebook post.

“The accident is currently under investigation and we are unable to provide additional details to preserve the integrity of the investigative process,” the Marines highlighted in Monday’s statement.

The aircraft’s last known position at that time was near Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, two large bodies of water northwest of the city of Charleston, according to the Joint Base, which asked for the public’s help in finding the aircraft.

The jet belongs to the US Navy’s 501st Fighter Attack Training Squadron, a unit focused on exercises for pilots to meet annual training requirements, according to the unit’s website.

Marines order pause in flight operations

Following three “Class A aviation accidents” in the past six weeks, the Marine Corps has ordered a pause in flight operations, the Corps said in a news release.

The measure was taken by the acting commander of the Marine Corps, General Eric Smith, and will last two days, according to Corps spokesman Major Jim Stenger.

During this period, all military aviation units will review safe flight operations, ground safety, maintenance and flight procedures, and maintaining combat readiness.

Previous accidents

The other two Marine Corps aircraft accidents occurred in August. On the 24th of that month, an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet crashed near San Diego and the pilot died. The cause remains under investigation.

Days later, an Osprey MV-22B crashed during military exercises in Australia, killing three US Marines and leaving five others in serious condition. That crash also remains under investigation.

While there is no indication of any connection between the cases, all incidents are classified as Class A accidents by the Marine Corps, defined as an incident that leads to a fatality or more than $2.5 million in property damage.

The seriousness of the events led to a pause in naval aviation operations.

“This pause invests time and energy in reinforcing the policies, practices and procedures established by the naval aviation community in the interest of public safety, protecting our Marines and sailors, and ensuring that the Marine Corps remains a ready and highly capable combat force. trained,” explained the Armed Forces in a statement.

Source: CNN Brasil

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