Lost: One US Marine F-35B Lightning II fighter jet. Last seen wandering on autopilot near Charleston, South Carolina. Steel gray in color. Loves high altitude but will approach runways and hangars. Will go to ground if left alone too long. Does not swim well and may have drowned in a nearby lake. Owner desperate for return.
I can only laugh at this story, although it’s costing US taxpayers somewhere between $80 million and you-name-it, depending on the source. How do you lose something this big, this noisy, this valuable? Do they not put trackers on these things? Air Tags? Transponders? Radar back at the base? I’m glad the pilot who ejected is going to be okay, but explaining this “mishap” should be interesting.
I know it’s a stealth jet, but this is ridiculous. Google can find my phone, my watch, my computer, my thermostat, my lamps, me. My son’s car tells him where he is and shows him on a map. I can tell you where each of my family members is at any time. Even my dog wears a GPS tracker.
Okay, so maybe it was at night and nobody saw the errant jet. But wouldn’t somebody have heard it? Low flying? Crashing? Maybe it went into a lake and sank?
At the very least, the Marines should/would know how much fuel it had on board and could judge how far it could fly, especially since it was left on autopilot. Or maybe not. After all, they did manage to lose it.