F-35 Marine jet crashes in South Carolina

The U.S. military suffered its first crash of an F-35 aircraft in the 17-year history of the high-profile fighter jet program on Friday.

The crash of the Marine Corps variant of the F-35, known as the F-35B Lightning II, occurred Friday at 11:45 a.m. outside Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina, according to the Marine Corps. The service did not give a suspected cause for the crash, saying the incident remained under investigation.

“The U.S. Marine pilot safely ejected from the single-seat aircraft and is currently being evaluated by medical personnel,” the Marines said in a statement. “There were no civilian injuries.”

The aircraft, which cost more than $100 million, belonged to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, which trains Marine pilots for combat with the F-35.

In the past, F-35 jets have made emergency landings, experienced in-flight incidents, including oxygen deprivation among crews, and suffered from engine fires and other failures on the ground. But this is the first time the military has suffered a full-blown crash of an F-35 involving the ejection of a pilot.

A U.S. military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was underway, said the Marine Corps initially classified the crash as a Class A mishap, which is defined as an incident resulting in the complete destruction of the plane, more than $2 million in damage or the fatality or permanent total disability of the crew.

The Marines said they were working with authorities in South Carolina to secure the crash site around the F-35 and guarantee the safety of all personnel in the surrounding area.

— Paul Sonne

Airline exec, Memphis leader fatally shot

A civic leader and former airline executive was alone when he was fatally shot in downtown Memphis, and authorities are investigating whether he was killed in a robbery or as part of a “personal vendetta,” police said Friday.

Later in the day, police took into custody two people who were in a truck matching the description of a vehicle connected to the shooting, but they have not been charged with the killing.

Philip Trenary, the president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce, was shot at about 8 p.m. Thursday on South Front Street, Memphis police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said. Trenary was shot near where the chamber was holding its annual “Move it Memphis” race, near a large apartment complex and not far from historic Beale Street.

Police appealed for help locating a suspect described as a black male with dreadlocks, wearing a blue shirt and driving a white four-door Ford F150.

Trenary, 64, founded Exec Express Airlines in Stillwater, Okla., in 1984. The company moved to Texas and was renamed Lone Star Airlines in 1987. Trenary came to Memphis in 1997 to run a regional airline that morphed into Pinnacle. He left Pinnacle in 2011.

— Associated Press

Kangaroo temporarily moved from sanctuary

Seven kangaroos have been removed temporarily by Florida wildlife officials from a home-based sanctuary where a 5-year-old kangaroo escaped earlier this week.

State wildlife officials said Friday that they had found “deficiencies” in the kangaroos’ enclosures at a home in Jupiter, Fla., and moved them to an undisclosed, licensed facility.

The Palm Beach Post reported that the sanctuary was last inspected in 2016 and was up to code. A spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said owner Eric Westergard is working to fix the fencing and caging issues.

The missing kangaroo named Storm was found Thursday, three days after he hopped away from Westergard’s home. Officers used drones and a K-9 in an effort to track down Storm.

— Associated Press