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F-35B Crashes Near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort; Local Sheriff Says Pilot Ejected Safely

 

An F-35B launches off the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) on March 11, 2018. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated, and will be updated as more information becomes available.

A Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighter crashed near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina today, the Marine Corps confirmed.

A JSF from training squadron Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501) crashed near the air station around 11:45a.m. today, according to a statement from II Marine Expeditionary Force.

“The U.S. Marine pilot safely ejected from the single-seat aircraft and is currently being evaluated by medical personnel. There were no civilian injuries,” according to the statement.

The Hilton Head Island Packet newspaper first reported that a military plane crashed five miles from the air station, and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s office stated on Twitter that the pilot of the aircraft ejected safely.

Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501), which trains F-35B pilots, operates out of MCAS Beaufort on the South Carolina coast.

 

The following is the full statement from II Marine Expeditionary Force: 

A 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing F-35B belonging to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501) stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort crashed in the vicinity of Beaufort, South Carolina at approximately 11:45 a.m. (EST), today.

The U.S. Marine pilot safely ejected from the single-seat aircraft and is currently being evaluated by medical personnel. There were no civilian injuries. Marines from MCAS Beaufort are working with local authorities currently conducting standard mishap operations to secure the crash site and ensure the safety of all personnel in the surrounding area.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. For questions outside of this specific incident regarding the F-35, contact [email protected]usmc.mil, or call 703-614-4309.