U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer Bomber Involved in May In-Flight Emergency Departs Midland

The U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer strategic bomber that has been located at the Midland International Air & Space Port since May 1 when the aircrew made an emergency landing, was flown to Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, Oct. 26.

After undergoing a Safety Investigation Board and maintenance to get the aircraft into a safely operable condition, a crew from the Air Force Materiel Command’s (AFMC) 10th Flight Test Squadron flew the aircraft, with three out of four engines, to Tinker AFB.

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While at Tinker AFB, the B-1B will undergo depot maintenance and upgrades at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, be quality tested by the 10th FLTS, and be returned to the Dyess AFB B-1B Lancer fleet upon completion.

During a routine training flight May 1, the B-1B indicated fire warnings in three areas of the aircraft. All but one was extinguished by taking appropriate flight procedures, prompting the aircraft commander to heed technical orders and command a controlled manual ejection. The first aircrew member attempted to eject, but the seat failed to deploy. Alerted by another crewmember, the aircraft commander halted the ejection sequence and decided to attempt a two-engine emergency landing.

Despite auditory warning systems, depressurization and wind noise, the aircrew safely landed in Midland, making it the first-ever successful landing of a B-1B experiencing these malfunctions. For their heroism, the crew members were each presented the Distinguished Flying Cross in a ceremony July 13 at Dyess AFB.

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