The pilot of the F-35 fighter jet, who went missing last week, bailed out due to an “airplane malfunction” and called 911 after landing in a resident’s yard. The BBC said the unidentified pilot was flying over Charleston, South Carolina, when the plane encountered a problem and he ejected. The audio of the 911 call has now been released, in which the pilot says he was “not sure” where the $100 million plane was.
The owner of the house is also heard explaining that the pilot had landed in his backyard.
The pilot said he felt “Okay” after ejecting at about 2,000 feet and that only his back hurt.
‘Ma’am, a military plane has crashed. I’m the pilot. We have to initiate the rescue operation,” the pilot said, according to the transcript of the four-minute phone call published by the BBC.
“I’m not sure where the plane is. It might have crashed somewhere. I ejected,” he further said.
The pilot also requested an ambulance. The owner of the house also said the pilot needed medical attention.
“I think it ended up in my backyard. We’re trying to see if we can please send an ambulance to the house,” the man said during the 911 call.
The pilot was later taken to hospital for medical treatment.
The BBC The report said it is unclear how the plane remained in position after the pilot ejected. However, the Marine Corps said its flight control software may have helped it stay level even without a pilot in control.
The plane’s debris was discovered on Monday, a day after it disappeared. The debris field was found in Williamsburg County, South Carolina.
After news of the F-35’s missing came to light, the US Marines ordered the grounding of all Marine Corps aircraft, both inside and outside the United States.
The Pentagon clarified in a statement that this operational pause is intended to give units an opportunity to participate in discussions on aviation safety issues and share best practices.