A B-1B Lancer made a wheels-up belly landing at Diego Garcia Monday, skidding down the runway for 7,500 feet, according to Air Force reports. The four-person aircrew escaped from the plane. The B-1B was home based with the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.
The 20-year-old bomber was landing at Diego Garcia, a remote base in the Indian Ocean, at the end of a ferry mission that started at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The Air Force won’t say why the crew landed the plane with its landing gear retracted.
During the landing, the B-1B caught fire and emergency crews extinguished the flames.
Because damage estimates are more than $1 million, separate Air Force accident and safety investigation boards will look for the cause of the accident.
Production of the supersonic bombers ended in the mid-1980s. With inflation taken into account, today the planes would cost more than $283 million each.
Ouch! That's gotta hurt! And since the airplane will rest on its engine nacelles with the landing gear retracted, I bet on major damage! Maybe even an airframe write-off!
Ulfinator From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 324 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 17520 times:
That would be a Bone out of my friend's unit. He is a WSSO and they left for Diego Garcia just this last weekend. I will have to shoot him an email and find out what went down. At least what he might be able to say.
Bushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 17399 times:
Firstly I am glad the crew is alright, I hope the airframe is not a writeoff, but a belly landing and 7500ft skid would probably mean that it is. I am sure the resourceful ground crew will scavange any spare parts it needs. The fact the crew made it out alright should say something about thier skills in flying the bird and its design being able to hold up to that kind of skid on its engines without exploding outright.
TedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 17171 times:
I'm just wondering how the crew got out. I only know of the aft of nosegear exit and if they were totally belly up wouldn't that have prohibited it from opening? Please correct me, I know I gotta be wrong on this one.
I do believe the Crew can open the ejection hatches over head the cabin for escape,then climb down on a rope ladder. The B-52 has a similar procedure as in a belly landing the crew door would also be out of commission.
PhatAlbert From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 113 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (10 years 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 15922 times:
when i read the story about it in Flight Global they had to have a crane disassembled and reassembled at the scene heck of alot of work for that plane. But in the end im sure its worth it, especially since the plane crashed and is being repaired back to fly...
Spacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 3392 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (10 years 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 15795 times:
Looking at the pics, I'd be suprised if the damage is *that* great. I'd be more suprised if it were a w/o. Looks like they greased it in on the engine nacelles, which are replacable along with the engines themselves. Heck, if they shut them down, they may not even be damaged. Nose came down after airspeed decreased, nice and gently (no buckled fuselage). The tarp in the 3rd photo is there to cover the open escape hatch, not to conceal damage.
From the sounds of it, they could lift it with the crane, drop and lock the gear, then tow her off the runway.