Four days after a multi-million-dollar, high-tech Marine fighter jet crashed in Beaufort County, officials are asking anyone who witnessed the accident to contact Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.
“Good morning,” a Tuesday news release sent from the air station’s public affairs office began. “To help us as we continue our investigation, we are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the aircraft mishap at Little Barnwell Island to please email us your name and contact information to email@example.com.”
A similar message was shared around 9 a.m. Tuesday on the air station’s Facebook page.
The F-35B Lightning II was on “a routine training flight” Friday before it crashed, 1st Lt. Sam Stephenson, spokesperson for the 2nd Marine Air Wing, said Tuesday afternoon in an email to The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette.
Stephenson said the Marine Corps could not comment further about the flight given the ongoing investigation of the crash. Stephenson also said the Corps would not release the pilot’s rank, current flight status and experience-level with the F-35 while the investigation was ongoing.
The investigation, Stephenson wrote in the email, “will most likely take six or more months.” (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Island Packet website.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: In a post on its Facebook page dated Sept. 28 at 11:55 PM, MCAS Beaufort said that the pilot of the crashed aircraft had been “released from hospital and is currently recovering at home.”
This is less than 12 hours after the crash, which occurred that same morning at 11:45 a.m. EST.
The call for witnesses implies the pilot could not provide enough information to investigators, or that corroboration is required that the various recording devices cannot provide.
This implies that an outside factor, not visible or understandable from the cockpit, may have caused or contributed to the crash.)