A F-35B has crashed in South Carolina, just five miles outside the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said that the pilot survived the crash.
The Beaufort MCAS is home to five squadrons of F/A-18 Hornets and one F-35B squadron. It was not initially known which type of plane was involved in the crash. The military later confirmed to ABC news that it was a F-35B.
The location of the crash was pinpointed to the northwestern tip of the island archipelago that hosts the Beaufort MCAS. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island is on the southern end, about 15 miles away.
The crash comes just a day after the same exact type of the fifth-generation jet flew the first combat mission in Afghanistan.
Designed by Lockheed Martin, the F-35 was supposed to be a modular, multi-purpose stealth fighter, easily adaptable to the needs of the Air Force, Navy and the Marines.
In reality, the plane is beset by technical troubles and is over budget and behind schedule. The program’s estimated lifetime cost has been put at over $1.5 trillion.