2023: “Things change, and they don’t change back.”

Whoops, we lost an F-35! This story is even stranger than it may first appear. Although the F-35 has stealth capabilities, one would expect a tracking device or beacon. Also, radio reports say it was on autopilot when the pilot ejected. Finally, it was accompanied by a second plane that returned to ground. Why didn’t the second plane track the pilotless plane? This story is understandably cloaked in secrecy, as is the F-35 itself. The plane is probably in the ocean, which brings to mind a recovery race with our enemies.


That’s a very interesting and strange case indeed! If there any subsequent news please share :slight_smile:

“You’ve lost another submarine?”


Petty drama but also ew

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F-35 Update: I heard an enlightening interview with AF Lt. Col, Buzz Peterson (retired, after 35 years), a former squadron leader who, when he was a military attache, carried the “nuclear football.” He found it unbelievable that we don’t know where it is. He noted:

• The F-35 doesn’t carry much fuel, certainly not enough to fly to Cuba, as some people have speculated on the web.

• They do have an FAA transponder and would normally have been tracked.

• The standard AF procedure is for the other plane to follow the abandoned plane all the way down, but he could not speak for the Marines (it was a Marine plane).

• The pilot seems to have ejected prematurely in Peterson’s opinion.

• The Marines have ordered an international stand-down (i.e., inside and outside the U.S.) of all their aircraft! This may be because they had three Marines killed in separate accidents of the Osprey in the past few weeks.


“A plausible sequence of events is that when the pilot ejected, the electronics for the transponder were fried and thus the military was no longer able to track its location,”


By foot or with a jet? So unprecise


They don’t want to give away too much info!

They need to rephrase that rule!


This story really has legs!


That’s really interesting. The dispatcher follows standard protocol by asking first for the location. They ignore that vital first question, and I’m yelling in my mind, “Give her the address first.” Folks, always, always give 911 your location first. You might lose your connection, go unconscious, get attacked by the bad guys, etc.

The most interesting fact to me is that the plane was at 2,000 feet. That is very low, which suggests that it was either still ascending shortly after takeoff, or that it was already going down (statements implying level flight notwithstanding). The phrase “ejected as a result of a malfunction” is ambiguous (was the ejection itself the malfunction?). Notably, the expert I previously cited said he thought the ejection was premature. Subsequently, the idea has been floated that the ejection resulted from a hack via a Chinese-made component. This ties in to the revelation a year or two ago that Chinese-made components are in some of our fighter jets (I don’t remember which ones), which caused a brief furor and then disappeared from the news.

The abysmal 55% figure did not surprise me, I’ve known for some time about the parts shortage and horrifying state of disrepair of our naval planes.