US Military sets up missing jet hotline for missing F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter as Marine Corps issues two-day stand-down for all units after pilot ejected over South Carolina

The US military has set up a hotline for a missing Marine Corps F-35 fighter jet that has been missing since its pilot ejected over South Carolina for unknown reasons on Monday, leaving the jet with stealth capabilities flying in a ‘zombie state.’

Joint Base Charleston asked the public on Monday to call the base if they have ‘any information that may help our recovery teams locate the F-35,’ which is worth $100 million.

On Monday, Marine Corps Commandant Eric Smith issued a two-day stand-down for all aviation units both inside and outside of the United States that will take place at some point this week. No units will be allowed to fly until they have a two-day discussion about safety measures and procedures, according to an email seen by ABC News.

Based on the missing plane’s location and trajectory, the search for the F-35 Lightning II jet was focused on Lake Moultrie, around 50 miles from North Charleston, said Senior Master Sgt. Heather Stanton at Joint Base Charleston. The pilot enabled the autopilot function prior to his ejection. 

Officials have also said that they have no evidence that that the plane has actually crashed. 

The man-made Lake Moultrie is 75 feet deep at its deepest and 14 miles wide at its widest. 

An F-35 has a range of up to 1,200 miles but it’s unclear how much fuel was in the jet at the time that it went missing. With a full tank, it could travel for hundreds of miles on autopilot.

Many are poking fun at the situation online, with social media users expressing disbelief the military can’t find such an expensive piece of military equipment.

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Source of data and images: dailymail

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