US authorities confirmed this Monday (18) that they found parts of the wreckage of the F-35 fighter, which was missing, in Williamsburg County, in the American state of South Carolina.
The aircraft had disappeared this Sunday (17) after an incident without official explanation forced the pilot to eject. The pilot, whose name was not revealed, managed to land safely with a parachute. According to information from the American media, he is in stable condition in the hospital.
The wreckage of the aircraft was found in the Indianatown area. American broadcaster NBC News confirmed the information through an official note from Joint Base Charleston, where the fighter jet had departed.
“Community members should avoid the area while the recovery team secures the debris field. The accident is currently under investigation and we are unable to provide additional details to preserve the integrity of the investigative process. We would like to thank all of our mission partners , as well as local, district and state authorities, for their dedication and support during the search and during the transition to the recovery phase,” authorities stated in the note.
The F-35 fighter costs around US$100 million (R$485 million at current prices), according to Lockheed Martin, the company responsible for manufacturing the aircraft.
The search for the jet had been ongoing since Sunday afternoon.
Just yesterday, Joint Base Charleston had posted a request for help to American civilians in finding the jet through its official X account (new Twitter name).
“The public is asked to cooperate with military and civil authorities as the effort (to find the jet) continues,” the message said.