A Marine F-35B joint strike fighter has crashed close to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in Beaufort, South Carolina, in what turns out to be the first-ever crash of the cutting-edge stealth aircraft.
The costly plane was completely destroyed in the crash during training on Friday, according to one official, who also said, “It’s a total loss.”
Images posted on social media show a plume of black smoke rising above what users described as the crash site.
It was an F-35 “B” variant, which is used by the Marine Corps, and it is capable of taking off from a short runway and landing vertically.
No serious injury was reported after the incident and according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, the pilot safely ejected and was being evaluated for injuries.
The aircraft will become the main fighter aircraft for the Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy, according to a military official.
Although unit costs vary, the price tag of F-35s is…