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    F-35 Fighter Jet Still Missing in South Carolina After Pilot Ejected on Sunday

    F-35 Fighter Jet Still Missing in South Carolina After Pilot Ejected on Sunday

    A Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II jet that was lost over South Carolina after the pilot ejected Sunday was still missing Monday, and search efforts were ongoing. The aircraft and the ejection seat were still nowhere to be found.

    The F-35 was based at Marine Corps Station Beaufort at the state's southern tip. Joint Base , the joint Air Force and Navy installation in South Carolina, said it was working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the air station to locate the roughly $80 million fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

    Jeremy Huggins, a spokesman at Joint Base Charleston, told local and national news outlets that the jet was left in autopilot mode when the pilot ejected, and some believed it could have remained airborne for some time, he reportedly said. He also told the Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston that the transponder was not working properly and confirmed the aircraft was not carrying missiles.

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    The top uniformed officer of the Marine Corps, Gen. Eric Smith, on Monday ordered aviation units to “conduct a two-day pause in operations this week to discuss aviation safety matters and best practices,” according to Maj. Jim Stenger, a service spokesperson.

    The order came after the F-35 incident and two other aviation mishaps over the last several weeks. During the safety…

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