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Pilot of Beaufort F-35B crash released from hospital

The pilot of an F-35B that crashed on Friday in Beaufort, South Carolina, has been released from the hospital, according to 1st Lt. Samuel Stephenson, a spokesman for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

No other details about the pilot or his health were made available due to privacy concerns, Marine officials said.

On Friday, an F-35B with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, or VMFAT-501, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, had crashed near Little Barnwell Island in Beaufort, South Carolina, around 11:45 a.m.

The pilot had safely ejected from his aircraft.

Local police and rescue units had assisted with the rescue and recovery efforts of the downed F-35B.

Currently, the area of the downed stealth fighter is restricted to civilian traffic as the investigation and cleanup efforts are still ongoing, Stephenson told Marine Corps Times.

“The local community is reminded to steer clear of the area and follow instructions from local law enforcement,” Stephenson said.

VMFAT-501 has been churning out new Marine F-35B pilots, but the air station and its high-tech fighters have been hit with maintenance and supply woes that have hurt the unit’s ability to keep its F-35Bs in the air.

The crash of the F-35B is the first in the program’s history.

The Beaufort Gazette first reported the pilot’s release from the hospital.

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