F-35 fighter jet crashes in South Carolina, pilot ejects

A US military F-35B fighter jet crashed near the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina on Friday, local law officials said.

The pilot, the only person aboard the craft, ejected safely and was being checked for injuries, said a Pentagon spokesman, adding that there were no other injuries.

The jet crashed just before noon local time. It was a Lockheed Martin F-35B, a short take-off/vertical landing version of the F-35, said a U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It was the first crash of an F-35 fighter jet since they became operational in 2006, said another military official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity. Friday's incident also marked the first time a pilot had ejected from an F-35B, the official said.

Neither military nor local officials immediately offered a cause for the crash. Military officials said the crash was under investigation.