BEAUFORT, S.C. — A military plane crashed in coastal South Carolina on Friday, authorities said. The Marine Corps said the pilot of the single-seat aircraft ejected safely.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said the crash was reported about 11:45 a.m. near the Grays Hill community. The plane was an F-35B. This marks the first crash of the U.S. military’s newest and most expensive aircraft. On Thursday, the Marines announced the aircraft’s first use in combat in Afghanistan.
In a statement, Marine Corps Capt. Christopher Harrison said the pilot was being evaluated by medical personnel. No civilians were injured, Harrison said.
The plane belonged to a Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501), stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, which is about 4 miles from the crash site.
Authorities asked people to avoid the area.
The cause of the crash was under investigation, Harrison said.
Military plane crash in Beaufort near Joe Allen Drive area. Appears to have crashed on a bluff/island owned by Clarendon Plantations. Not usually many people over there. Praying for the safety of all involved! pic.twitter.com/dM5a8v2lg1
— Sam Richardson (@SamRichardsonAM) September 28, 2018