U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Crashes In South Carolina. Pilot Successfully Ejected.

F-35B crash
File photo of a VMFAT-501 F-35B (Image credit: USMC)

According to the first reports, the pilot is safe after ejecting from a USMC F-35B.

An F-35B Lighting II jet belonging to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501) with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing based at MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Beaufort, South Carolina, has crashed on Sunday Sept. 18, 2023.

The pilot ejected safely from the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter and taken to a hospital where they are in stable condition.

In a post on X, Joint Base Charleston says they are responding to a ‘mishap’ involving a pilot being ejected from a plane on Sunday. Interestingly, it looks like the aircraft has not yet been located, despite the pilot being recovered.

On Sept. 28, 2018, another U.S. Marine F-35B Lightning II of the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501), the “Warlords”, the training squadron equipped with the STOVL aircraft and serving as the Fleet Replacement Squadron, crashed near Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station outside of Beaufort, South Carolina on the U.S. East Coast. The pilot ejected safely. That was the first ever F-35 crash.

This is a developing story, we will update the article as more details emerge.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.