F-35. Photo, courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
An F-35B crashed on Little Barnwell Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina on Friday. This is the first reported crash of an F-35.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s office released a statement noting that a military plane crash was reported around 11:45a.m. The office confirmed the pilot safely ejected and was taken to a medical facility for evaluation.
The Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 trains F-35B pilots and operates out of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort in the area. The F-35B is the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant of Lockheed Martin's F-35.
MCAS later released a statement from that at around 11:45 a.m. a 2D Marine Aircraft Wing F-35B “impacted” in Beaufort County. It confirmed the pilot ejected safely and is being examined by medical personnel.
“More information will be provided as it becomes available,” MCAS said in the statement.
Avionics International will update this story as more information becomes available.