User avatar
Buyantukhaa
Posts: 2298
Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 5:33 am

B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:44 pm

Fir use excerpt:

Quote:
A B-52 bomber flew across the US last week mistakenly loaded with up to six nuclear-armed missiles, unnamed air force officials are quoted as saying. The missiles were unaccounted for during a three-hour flight from a North Dakota air base to one in Louisiana.

Air Force spokesman Lt Col Ed Thomas told Army Times the weapons were "always in our custody". Army Times said the missiles were to be decommissioned but were mistakenly mounted on the bomber's wings. The W80-1 warhead has a yield of five to 150 kilotons, the paper said.

A military official told AFP news agency that President George W Bush had been informed of the mix-up.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6980204.stm
I scratch my head, therefore I am.
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11022
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:15 am

Somehow I doubt that this story is very accurate. It is not possible to load the weapons aboard, and not have the aircrew find out about it.

If the BBC story was even close to correct, a Broken Arrow would have been started to locate the "unaccounted" weapons.
 
Corsair1107
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:29 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:16 am

Wait, I'm confused. Was the B-52 supposed to fly empty yet ended up with missiles loaded onboard? Wouldn't the aircrew notice a mistake like that?
Flown on: DHC-6/8, F100, B1900C, 717, 727, 737, 757, 767, 777, 319, 320, C152/172, E135/145, DC-9, MD-83/88 CL600
 
AirTranTUS
Posts: 3313
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:12 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:38 am

Quoting Corsair1107 (Reply 2):
Was the B-52 supposed to fly empty yet ended up with missiles loaded onboard?

According to a statement in the FOX article below, the missiles were to be decommissioned, and the warheads were not removed, but should have been.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,295797,00.html

http://www.militarytimes.com/news/2007/09/marine_nuclear_B52_070904w/
I love ASO!
 
KFLLCFII
Posts: 3185
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:08 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:14 am

...And how often (rare) is it that nukes are airborne over the country?

Somehow this seems to be less of a story than they make it out to be (save for the fact that they were loaded in error), but I do admit, I plead ignorance on the subject...
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
da man
Posts: 836
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2001 8:27 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:22 am

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 4):
...And how often (rare) is it that nukes are airborne over the country?

How rare, well, I remember hearing on CNN today that it was President Kennedy and Krushchev that signed a treaty after the incident over Spain regarding lost nukes (someone more knowledgeable than me could tell more) which stated that the US would not have airborne nukes anymore. So this would be the first time in at least 40 years.
War Eagle!
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4171
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:37 am

Quoting Da man (Reply 5):
How rare, well, I remember hearing on CNN today that it was President Kennedy and Krushchev that signed a treaty after the incident over Spain regarding lost nukes (someone more knowledgeable than me could tell more) which stated that the US would not have airborne nukes anymore. So this would be the first time in at least 40 years.

No, if anything that agreement was for both sides to not maintain a nuclear attack capability in an airborne readiness state - that was what the crash in Spain involved, a B-52 flying the Mediterranean Airborne Nuclear Alert Route collided with a KC-135.

These missions were gradually phased out after the Spain incident, although the USAF does still regularly fly nuclear weapons to this day - there was no agreement against having nuclear weapons in the air, just against having them in the air in routine airborne alert duty flights. This suited both sides as more and more capability was being moved to ICBMs anyway.

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 4):
Somehow this seems to be less of a story than they make it out to be (save for the fact that they were loaded in error), but I do admit, I plead ignorance on the subject...

The real story is is that there is a story at all - nuclear weapons managed to fall outside the normal, highly restricted channels somehow, even if it was only for a few hours and they never technically left the control of a USAF aircraft they were still unaccounted for and their location was only confirmed when the aircraft landed.
 
da man
Posts: 836
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2001 8:27 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:40 am

Quoting Moo (Reply 6):
No, if anything that agreement was for both sides to not maintain a nuclear attack capability in an airborne readiness state - that was what the crash in Spain involved, a B-52 flying the Mediterranean Airborne Nuclear Alert Route collided with a KC-135.

These missions were gradually phased out after the Spain incident, although the USAF does still regularly fly nuclear weapons to this day - there was no agreement against having nuclear weapons in the air, just against having them in the air in routine airborne alert duty flights. This suited both sides as more and more capability was being moved to ICBMs anyway.

Thanks, I just remember hearing a slight blurb this morning on the news before I ran out for class. I was just repeating what I remember hearing from CNN this morning. I guess it goes to show how the media can be wrong on almost anything.
War Eagle!
 
RIXrat
Posts: 674
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:20 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:41 am

In 1968 I was sent to Thule, Greenland, as a young reporter to cover the B-52 crash with six nuclear bombs aboard. The plane with all the bombs went through the ice. They would not have exploded, because they were not armed. A cry was raised a few years later by the Danish authorities as far as radiation leaks were concerned. I have not followed the story lately. Either they were lifted out, or they still reside on the bottom of the sea. Anyway, my point is that there was no risk of a nuclear explosion.
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4171
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:26 am

Quoting RIXrat (Reply 8):
Either they were lifted out, or they still reside on the bottom of the sea.

One was recovered as debris during the post crash cleanup, one was recovered in 1979 and the other remains at the bottom of the bay.

Quoting RIXrat (Reply 8):
They would not have exploded, because they were not armed.

Technically they could have exploded - the Thule bombs were 'full cores', meaning the entire weapons package was in the casing at the time. The safety devices could have failed and the bomb could have detonated. When two bombs were lost in another B-52 accident in 1961, one of the bombs free fell and buried itself in the mud, while the other managed to suffer the failure of three of its four safety devices, resulting in an almost full arming of the weapon including deployment of the retarding chute - if the fourth safety device had also failed, that bomb would have detonated.
 
checksixx
Posts: 1148
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:13 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
Somehow I doubt that this story is very accurate. It is not possible to load the weapons aboard, and not have the aircrew find out about it.

If the BBC story was even close to correct, a Broken Arrow would have been started to locate the "unaccounted" weapons.

A Broken Arrow report would have been the incorrect thing. Refer to this for a refresher: http://www.maxwell.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/dod/d523016p.pdf
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:18 am

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 4):
Somehow this seems to be less of a story than they make it out to be (save for the fact that they were loaded in error), but I do admit, I plead ignorance on the subject...

This is huge. So many checks and procedures had to fail or be ignored for this to even have a remote chance of happening. It is also an indicator that the staff at Minot were not taking nuclear surity seriously or did not have the proper training. The squadron commander has already been fired and I predict there will be multiple court-martials over this. Also how long did the B-52 sit on the Barksdale ramp with minimal security around it? I would have liked to have seen the expression on the face of the technician that opened up the missile casing and saw a real live nuke warhead
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:37 am

Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 11):
also an indicator that the staff at Minot were not taking nuclear surity seriously or did not have the proper training. The squadron commander has already been fired and I predict there will be multiple court-martials over this.

Oh yeah, Squadron commmander, wing commander, base commander, Lots of careers are going to be going boom.

Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 11):
I would have liked to have seen the expression on the face of the technician that opened up the missile casing and saw a real live nuke warhead

Had to have been a great look.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
BladeLWS
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:41 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:58 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 12):
Had to have been a great look.

Probably went along the lines of...

A OMFGWTFBBQSAUCE kind of moment...

and I'll hazard a guess that everyone from the base CO down that is a supervisor anyway connected with this is going to get voted off the island before this is over...
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:57 am

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 13):
Probably went along the lines of...

A OMFGWTFBBQSAUCE kind of moment...

I am picturing a couple of really big eyes and the hands quickly shifting to both providing coverage of the fig leaf area.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
wvsuperhornet
Posts: 517
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 4:18 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:41 pm

Unless th Missle's were armed they really wouldnt have been a threat unless of course one falls off ontop of your head J/k. Anyway The nukes are buit to withstand an accident while some aircraft in the 50's and 60's crashed none of the weapons leaked or went off. I would believe the fix version of decommissioned and the heads werent removed by mistake I am sure its not the first time or the last time it will happen.
 
PADSpot
Posts: 1637
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:31 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:25 pm

Quote:
Army Times said the missiles were to be decommissioned but were mistakenly mounted on the bomber's wings. The W80-1 warhead has a yield of five to 150 kilotons, the paper said.

AGM-86 ALCM?

Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 11):
I would have liked to have seen the expression on the face of the technician that opened up the missile casing and saw a real live nuke warhead

I presume one can distinguish a live missile from an inert one with having to open it?
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:34 pm

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 15):
Unless th Missle's were armed they really wouldnt have been a threat unless of course one falls off ontop of your head J/k. Anyway The nukes are buit to withstand an accident while some aircraft in the 50's and 60's crashed none of the weapons leaked or went off. I would believe the fix version of decommissioned and the heads werent removed by mistake I am sure its not the first time or the last time it will happen.

They are designed not to detonate during an accident which is different than withstanding an accident. I know it is splitting hairs but when dealing with nukes, one split hair can kill thousands. There are multiple cases where the radioactive payload was scattered to the wind after the accident. What happens is the high explosives around the core cook off in a matter that does not initiate a controlled nuclear explosion but does scatter the plutonium.
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:57 pm

I've gotta agree that this is an inexcusable lapse in nuclear weapons security and everyone in that chain of events needs to be relieved, including the pilots who took off with the missiles and did not check them properly (assuming that the pilots are allowed to check the armaments warhead section while they're hanging on the pylons). It indicates a dangerous lack of respect for nuclear weapons security and that's the opposite of what is needed.

I'm not an over-reactor to incidents, but this is a loss of control on a nuclear weapon whether or not it was in USAF custody and not armed. The warheads were not supposed to be there, and they were and no one stopped the process.

Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 11):
I would have liked to have seen the expression on the face of the technician that opened up the missile casing and saw a real live nuke warhead

I was thinking the same thing yesterday. I'll bet he shit a brick in an orderly, military fashion and someone called for the SPs and duty officer in that order.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11022
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:03 pm

There are going to be a lot of careers ended over this.

Apparently, this really did happen.

Why didn't the aircrew and crew chief catch this?
 
JakeOrion
Posts: 1090
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:13 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:18 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
There are going to be a lot of careers ended over this.

Apparently, this really did happen.

Why didn't the aircrew and crew chief catch this?

I think anyone who was remotely involved in this pretty much has seen their career go up in smoke, including the aircrew. I don't think anyone will get prison over this, but they won't get a slap on the hand either.

There had to be a huge mix up in paper work and communications. The real question stands, how could a trained crew not notice nuke tipped missiles while loading them on to the B-52? I seriously doubt anyone could over look this as I'm sure the warheads are covered with stickers or some sort of identification features that would make them stand out like a sore thumb.
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
User avatar
Moose135
Posts: 2616
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:27 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:03 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):

You know, Boom, this kind of thing never would have happened in SAC

As pointed out, the danger of an accidental nuclear detonation is minimal (but not impossible) there is the very real danger that an incident could have caused the release of radioactive material (which has happened on several occasions in the past). The larger issue here is that 6 nuclear weapons seem to have gotten "lost". That is a major breach of nuclear weapon security. I think some weather station north of the Arctic Circle will be getting a new Moral, Welfare and Recreation Officer.

[Edited 2007-09-07 06:08:11]

[Edited 2007-09-07 06:08:40]
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
Venus6971
Posts: 1415
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:55 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:56 am

Quoting Moose135 (Reply 21):
You know, Boom, this kind of thing never would have happened in SAC

 checkmark   checkmark 
I imagine the services squadron at Minot is busy with the in processing of a whole lot of Munitions folks who lost their line badge, TS clearance and PRP. A whole lot of checklists and T.O.'s had to be not followed. When the IG starts digging what else are they going to find? Minot also has a missile field they take care of. You guys are right, this would have never happened in SAC. I can't imagine the load crew not knowing what they were loading was hot, since these were slated for decommission why were they even armed inside the weapons storage area. This is a indictment of todays AF leadership, they worry about everything except the mission. To err is human but to forgive is not SAC policy. Sure wish I had a pic of the SAC patch that had some bloody privates in the gauntlet. I believe all the old SAC troops know what I am talking about
I would help you but it is not in the contract
 
wannabe
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 1999 3:37 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:22 am

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 20):
I'm sure the warheads are covered with stickers

LOL. Just like those yellow stickers all over a step ladder! "Warning: This is a live nuclear weapon. Do not operate without aurthorization, or while taking any medications which may inhibit your ability to run like a son-of-a-bitch if something goes wrong. If found, please return to your nearest USAF base."
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:48 am

Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Thread starter):
Sure wish I had a pic of the SAC patch that had some bloody privates in the gauntlet. I believe all the old SAC troops know what I am talking about

I do have that patch but hubly request the admins permission to post it  Smile
 
fumanchewd
Posts: 2878
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 7:43 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:54 am

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 4):
Somehow this seems to be less of a story than they make it out to be (save for the fact that they were loaded in error), but I do admit, I plead ignorance on the subject...

I agree. Especially considering that they are usually transported on our public highways. Knowing our roads and the people who drive on them, I would prefer they be flown.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
checksixx
Posts: 1148
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:23 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
Why didn't the aircrew and crew chief catch this?

I thought you were in the Air Force....if you are...think about this question a bit more. There would have been NO way to "catch" it. The only folks at fault here are the munitions folks.
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:46 am

Quoting Moose135 (Reply 21):
The larger issue here is that 6 nuclear weapons seem to have gotten "lost". That is a major breach of nuclear weapon security. I think some weather station north of the Arctic Circle will be getting a new Moral, Welfare and Recreation Officer.

No...someone's going to prison for this one. Almost gotta happen.

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 26):

I thought you were in the Air Force....if you are...think about this question a bit more. There would have been NO way to "catch" it. The only folks at fault here are the munitions folks.

I would say that the pre-flight would involve the pilots noticing something about the missiles hanging off the wing not having dummy painted warheads? I was in the Army, so unless the weapons were mislabeled somehow and short of tearing it down there was no way to tell they were actually live the preflight should have caused some dissonance. Aren't nuclear weapons always escorted while on the ground? What happened to their escort? Surely the pilots would have noticed the SPs and their accoutrements.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
checksixx
Posts: 1148
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:10 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 27):
I would say that the pre-flight would involve the pilots noticing something about the missiles hanging off the wing not having dummy painted warheads? I was in the Army, so unless the weapons were mislabeled somehow and short of tearing it down there was no way to tell they were actually live the preflight should have caused some dissonance. Aren't nuclear weapons always escorted while on the ground? What happened to their escort? Surely the pilots would have noticed the SPs and their accoutrements.

I'm using your text, but not slamming you..okay? I think everyone here has not read up on the incident fully.

They were supposed to be transporting these munitions for destruction. They should have looked just like ex-live munitions. Regardless if that is the best choice or not, the folks at fault here are clearly the munitions folks. Period. Short of opening them up...pilots and crew dogs wouldn't know what to look for anyways...there would be no way to know if the warheads were actually removed or not.
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:05 pm

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 28):
Short of opening them up...pilots and crew dogs wouldn't know what to look for anyways...there would be no way to know if the warheads were actually removed or not.

Not being a B-52 crewdog, I am just wondering if there would have been any "instrumentation" indicators visable to the navigators via their computers? What I mean is that these weapons would need to talk to the navigator computers to be able to get updated target coordianates and to communicate the health status of the weapon. During this communication would it also indicate what type of load, conventions vs. nuclear, it was carring? This also assumes that the missles were even powered up. Might not have been since they were going down for destruction. Either way, the investigation will point this out.
 
checksixx
Posts: 1148
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:29 am

I don't know. I'd wait till the investigation is complete. Also, they may not disclose the results of the investigation publicly.
 
Lt-AWACS
Posts: 2120
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2002 2:40 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:51 pm

There is most definetly a way to catch this, if any of you have ever actually seen the weapons in question.
Munitions screwed up, crew chief and PIC also had access and checklist steps to QC the weapons.
And the leaks from 3 officers doesn't make sense either. To easy to trace even on just a Secret level not even TS.
I don't buy the initial media story for a minute and this is before talking to my BUFF pals.

Makes for exciting "breaking news" however.

Ciao,
AWACS
Io voglio fica ogni giorni da mia bella moglie!
 
rc135x
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:46 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:25 am

Quoting Da man (Reply 5):
How rare, well, I remember hearing on CNN today that it was President Kennedy and Krushchev that signed a treaty after the incident over Spain regarding lost nukes (someone more knowledgeable than me could tell more) which stated that the US would not have airborne nukes anymore. So this would be the first time in at least 40 years.

Nuclear weapons are routinely carried by air throughout the world. A McChord C-17 unit is one that fulfills this task.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/314311_nukes04.html

The Thule incident prompted the U.S. to discontinue airborne alert with nukes:

http://www.nukestrat.com/dk/alert.htm

Finally, CNN's "expert," MGEN Don Sheppard, needs to get his facts right before he speaks to the world as an authority. The Palomares incident occurred on 17 January 1966. JFK had been dead for more than two years. Khrushchev was removed from power in 1964 and replaced by Leonid Brezhnev. Airborne nuclear alert missions continued until the Thule event in 1968. Despite several blog sites and CNN's assertion to the contrary, there was no and is no treaty or agreement in force then or today that prohibits the airborne transport of nuclear weapons:

http://www.state.gov/www/global/legal_affairs/tifindex.html

Additional claims that these were intended for possible nuclear strike in the Mid East because KBAD is a "jumping off place" for Mid East strikes miss the point that it is closer to fly direct from KMIB than to go south to KBAD. Too many conspiracy theories and not enough facts.

This is an excellent example of what scholar Scott Sagan http://cisac.stanford.edu/people/2223/ describes in The Limits of Safety as a loss of positive control over nuclear weapons.
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W
 
wvsuperhornet
Posts: 517
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 4:18 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:59 pm

Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 17):
They are designed not to detonate during an accident which is different than withstanding an accident. I know it is splitting hairs but when dealing with nukes, one split hair can kill thousands. There are multiple cases where the radioactive payload was scattered to the wind after the accident. What happens is the high explosives around the core cook off in a matter that does not initiate a controlled nuclear explosion but does scatter the plutonium

Your right you are splitting hairs. I would like to know what the difference is between the 2????

Quoting DL021 (Reply 27):
No...someone's going to prison for this one. Almost gotta happen.

Look everyone needs to quite over-reacting if you think this is the only time this has occured then your not very realistic if you think the US is the only country to make mistakes while trasnorting nukes then you definatly need to wake up.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 27):
Aren't nuclear weapons always escorted while on the ground? What happened to their escort? Surely the pilots would have noticed the SPs and their accoutrements.

They are escorted on the ground but these were on a B-52 over american airspace there would be no need for an armed escort I am sure the B-52's crew had there weapons with them in case of some unlikley event they were high jacked in mid air. I am also fairly sure they would have followed a flight path were any of the F-15 or F-16's on alert are based an could have been scrambled within a short amount of time.
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:15 pm

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 33):
Your right you are splitting hairs. I would like to know what the difference is between the 2????

Since you asked I will go into more detail. Those who are familiar with said hair split can go on to the next comment.
If the weapon was armed and dropped in anger, when the weapon was detonated the explosives wrapped around the fissionable material explodes resulting in a very precise shockwave that compresses the plutonium to super critical mass initiating a chain reaction, in this case, with the equivalent force of 150 kilotons of explosive. Not only would you get the radioactive fallout but also the resulting destructive shock wave.
If the aircraft crashed and the warhead was sitting in a raging fire, the explosives used to start the nuclear reaction would not go off in a controlled manner and the net result would be pulverizing the plutonium and scattering it to the wind. This is very bad because inhaling even miniscule amounts plutonium is lethal and you now also have a very large area you need to decontaminate. The label superfund site would not do it justice.
Both are extremely bad but in different ways. That was the reason for the hair splitting comment.

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 33):
I am sure the B-52's crew had there weapons with them in case of some unlikely event they were high jacked in mid air.

The crew would not have been armed in this case. There would be a much greater chance of someone in the crew accidentally discharging their pistol and causing an accident then there would be someone like John Travolta hijacking the BUFF.
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:39 pm

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 28):
I'm using your text, but not slamming you..okay? I think everyone here has not read up on the incident fully.

No worries...I want to learn how and why this happened, and I'm not up on the security they employ these days with nuclear weapons. But I'm shocked if the measures now are less than before. The only time I was ever involved in nuclear weapons was during the decommissioning of the SADM/MADM stocks coming back from Europe with a couple of 12Es. The weapons were constantly escorted by MPs and the receipt procedure for total control of the weapons was extensive and rigorously enforced. We were briefed on the consequences of errors (zero-tolerance policy there) as the weapons themselves were unforgiving.

What I understand about this incident is that the warheads were not removed prior to loading on the aircraft. I know that pilots visually inspect their aircraft prior to takeoff. What I know from the past is that dummy warheads are painted different colors than live ones, and that nuclear warheads are warm to the touch (artillery shells and ADMs were at least) so I would assume (bad word there, I know) that the pilots would always check the payload of any airplane they're going to carry. Are you saying that pilots don't know how to check the ALCM loads? I'm asking not challenging. I don't know for sure.

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 28):
Short of opening them up...pilots and crew dogs wouldn't know what to look for anyways...there would be no way to know if the warheads were actually removed or not.

That's something I didn't know. How do they ensure that they've got a safe to carry load?

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 33):
Look everyone needs to quite over-reacting if you think this is the only time this has occured then your not very realistic if you think the US is the only country to make mistakes while trasnorting nukes then you definatly need to wake up.

I have to say that nuclear (or any NBC) weapons security requires more paranoia than any conventional weapons system. I'm aware that mistakes have been made, but I'm also aware that the way people are kept on their toes to the degree necessary is by using the carrot and the stick. The consequences of getting lazy or sloppy have to be serious. If someone has an accident despite following all procedures, well shit happens. They'll probably not get a second chance, but it's an accident and they happen. If someone commits an error due to sloppiness or laziness then that's unforgivable and should be severely dealt with. It's not like losing a Mark 82 in the ASP warehouse....this is serious shit.

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 33):
They are escorted on the ground but these were on a B-52 over american airspace there would be no need for an armed escort

I was referring to ground escort (hence the reference to the SPs whom I don't think fly their own airplanes) not air escort.

I do believe that I'm not overreacting as this appears to be sloppiness rather than an accident. And that condition is one that indicates permissiveness at some level of the COC and must be dealt with pretty damned harshly. I say that with two nephews in the service, and current friends and comrades still in.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
CF188A
Posts: 680
Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 12:27 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:51 pm

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 33):
Your right you are splitting hairs. I would like to know what the difference is between the 2????

:D

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 33):
Look everyone needs to quite over-reacting if you think this is the only time this has occured then your not very realistic if you think the US is the only country to make mistakes while trasnorting nukes then you definatly need to wake up.

Over-reacting? Inventory my friend is a VERY VERY VERY critical thing in the Armed Forces as is safety / per caution. I would not say it the United States are the only people who make mistakes, but to be honest, something like this with NUCLEAR weapons , CAN NOT happen. I mean you would be charged and imprisoned in the Forces for stealing your Sergeants car and driving it around base, or not turning your rifle in . etc etc. now attaching 4 nuclear missiles to a B52. ? I can only imagine the SECURITY process to transport those. The fact all this was a hoax or supposedly an "accident" or perhaps more ...... yes , someone is going to prison.

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 33):
I am also fairly sure they would have followed a flight path were any of the F-15 or F-16's on alert are based an could have been scrambled within a short amount of time.

Hopefully their response times will be better than that of September 11th
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow~ RIP ... LJFM
 
Lt-AWACS
Posts: 2120
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2002 2:40 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:32 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 35):
That's something I didn't know. How do they ensure that they've got a safe to carry load?

They do not needs to open them up to check there are other ways and failsafes built in to be checked. Not able to discuss what they are but the fact that they exist is no secret and was even noted on some news reports.

Ciao,
AWACS
Io voglio fica ogni giorni da mia bella moglie!
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:38 am

Quoting Lt-AWACS (Reply 37):
Hopefully their response times will be better than that of September 11th

The rules of engagement for alert fighters was MUCH different on Sept 11th than they were on Sept 12th. To that point, it was assumed that the hijackers would do as they always did and land the plane and negotiate. The alert fighters on Sept 11th were there to go up and wave to Russian visitors. You comment was a cheap shot and baseless. If you want to debate their response open up a new thread (if one does not already exist)
 
UH60FtRucker
Posts: 3252
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:15 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:40 am

Quoting CF188A (Reply 36):
Over-reacting? Inventory my friend is a VERY VERY VERY critical thing in the Armed Forces as is safety / per caution. I would not say it the United States are the only people who make mistakes, but to be honest, something like this with NUCLEAR weapons , CAN NOT happen. I mean you would be charged and imprisoned in the Forces for stealing your Sergeants car and driving it around base, or not turning your rifle in . etc etc. now attaching 4 nuclear missiles to a B52. ? I can only imagine the SECURITY process to transport those. The fact all this was a hoax or supposedly an "accident" or perhaps more ...... yes , someone is going to prison.

Chill. You can have same the discussion without flipping out and yelling.

Go have a cold one.

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 33):
Look everyone needs to quite over-reacting if you think this is the only time this has occured then your not very realistic if you think the US is the only country to make mistakes while trasnorting nukes then you definatly need to wake up.

No... I am pretty sure Ian is 100% correct... someone is going to jail.

Even ignoring the fact that accountability for your signed equipment is the eleventh commandment, in the military... this thing has been splashed all over the front pages. If you don't think heads are going to roll... and in a spectacular manner... then it's time to wake up!

Quoting DL021 (Reply 35):
If someone has an accident despite following all procedures, well shit happens. They'll probably not get a second chance, but it's an accident and they happen. If someone commits an error due to sloppiness or laziness then that's unforgivable and should be severely dealt with. It's not like losing a Mark 82 in the ASP warehouse....this is serious shit.

Exactly. This has been the standard operating procedure across the branches.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
checksixx
Posts: 1148
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:07 am

Either way, it IS policy to release this type of information to the public when deemed necessary.
 
RIXrat
Posts: 674
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:20 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:51 am

Quoting CF188A (Reply 36):
The Thule incident prompted the U.S. to discontinue airborne alert with nukes:

http://www.nukestrat.com/dk/alert.htm

Going back to Thule when I was there in 1968, the DOD briefers told us that the plane was not a drone flying over the Thule Air Base, but was coming from Plattsburgh AFB in New York (to somewhere) when it encountered the fire and the crash. So, in my opinion, the site quoted above is wrong.
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:45 am

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 40):
Either way, it IS policy to release this type of information to the public when deemed necessary.

I'd say that in this day and age it's called getting ahead of the power curve......the info will get released somehow...it's better to put it out first and attempt to defuse it some by being open.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
wvsuperhornet
Posts: 517
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 4:18 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:19 pm

Quoting CF188A (Reply 36):
Hopefully their response times will be better than that of September 11th

It has been Upgraded since sept 11th. And I wouldnt say there response there was bad either, its not really the pilots faults since they were scrambled to intercept incoming cruise missles over the atlantic and an F-15 was just a few seconds off in being able to shoot down the second plane into the WTC. But to answer yes they are on a war footing now the US airspace it probably more secure.

Quoting CF188A (Reply 36):
Over-reacting? Inventory my friend is a VERY VERY VERY critical thing in the Armed Forces as is safety / per caution. I would not say it the United States are the only people who make mistakes, but to be honest, something like this with NUCLEAR weapons , CAN NOT happen. I mean you would be charged and imprisoned in the Forces for stealing your Sergeants car and driving it around base, or not turning your rifle in . etc etc. now attaching 4 nuclear missiles to a B52. ? I can only imagine the SECURITY process to transport those. The fact all this was a hoax or supposedly an "accident" or perhaps more ...... yes , someone is going to prison.

I never said there shouldnt be any punishment, I think that it should be and severe. Should they be imprisoned, no discharged yes. Your right safety is an issue but by law of averages as many nukes that are transfered around in this country on a daily basis one mishap (and you can argue all you want it was just a mishap) you shouldnt go overboard. I think one lesson we can learn off the French is that their society has learned to accept Nuclear weapons and power plant into their society and know there may be an accident but they deal with it and go on.

Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 34):
Since you asked I will go into more detail. Those who are familiar with said hair split can go on to the next comment.
If the weapon was armed and dropped in anger, when the weapon was detonated the explosives wrapped around the fissionable material explodes resulting in a very precise shockwave that compresses the plutonium to super critical mass initiating a chain reaction, in this case, with the equivalent force of 150 kilotons of explosive. Not only would you get the radioactive fallout but also the resulting destructive shock wave.
If the aircraft crashed and the warhead was sitting in a raging fire, the explosives used to start the nuclear reaction would not go off in a controlled manner and the net result would be pulverizing the plutonium and scattering it to the wind. This is very bad because inhaling even miniscule amounts plutonium is lethal and you now also have a very large area you need to decontaminate. The label superfund site would not do it justice.
Both are extremely bad but in different ways. That was the reason for the hair splitting comment.

I hope someone else understands what point your trying to make becuase your still just rambling on to me and havent told me were the difference is unless I missed something in the report that said the crew was thinking about arming the bombs and dropping them?

Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 34):
The crew would not have been armed in this case. There would be a much greater chance of someone in the crew accidentally discharging their pistol and causing an accident then there would be someone like John Travolta hijacking the BUFF.

Your watching entirely too much TV.
 
checksixx
Posts: 1148
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:41 pm

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 43):
its not really the pilots faults since they were scrambled to intercept incoming cruise missles over the atlantic

No, it had nothing to do with cruise missiles over the Atlantic. Wherever you hear that, it was bad info.

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 43):
and an F-15 was just a few seconds off in being able to shoot down the second plane into the WTC

Again, wherever you heard that, its incorrect information.
 
wvsuperhornet
Posts: 517
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 4:18 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:18 pm

Really??? So a documentry done by the history channel on the Offical report issued by the 9/11 commission was totally wrong when they said the the fighter jets were scrambled at first to intercept incoming cruise missles? And the air traffic controllers who watched the planes fly into the WTC stated that the F-15 scrambled from the airbase in MASS. were within a couple of minutes of shooting down the second plane lied????? If you have more info than them I would like to hear it I have an open mind on the issue.

[Edited 2007-09-15 15:24:05]

[Edited 2007-09-15 15:25:30]
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:58 am

The f-15s were scrambled to find AA and UA flights that disappeared from the radar scope because they turned off their transponders and ATC heard the hijackers mention a bomb over the radio when the hijackers thought they were on intercom and correctly assumed they were dealing with a hijacking. There was no mention of cruise missiles. Again, if you want to get more info open another thread
 
PADSpot
Posts: 1637
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:31 pm

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:41 am

Now as a summary of the original story:

If I got it right the B-52 was supposed to carry 6 denuked AGM-129 from Minot AFB to Barksdale AFB for decommission. Accidentally the warheads were not removed as planned or the B-52 was equipped with the wrong missiles and subsequently took those 6 nuclear armed ACMs out for a flight.

Apart from the fact that those things unfortunately happen, I don't understand why empty ACMs have to be transport on the external pylons of an airplanes that consumes huge amounts of fuel, when there is no need to. Why can't they be transported in their normal containers with a truck or a normal air transport?
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:25 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 27):
Quoting Moose135 (Reply 21):The larger issue here is that 6 nuclear weapons seem to have gotten "lost". That is a major breach of nuclear weapon security. I think some weather station north of the Arctic Circle will be getting a new Moral, Welfare and Recreation Officer.No...someone's going to prison for this one. Almost gotta happen.



Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 39):
Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 33):Look everyone needs to quite over-reacting if you think this is the only time this has occured then your not very realistic if you think the US is the only country to make mistakes while trasnorting nukes then you definatly need to wake up.No... I am pretty sure Ian is 100% correct... someone is going to jail.

Nah. he culprits will probably get stern lectures and maybe a nonpunitive letter. But real jail time? Remember folks, this is the Air Force we're talking about.  stirthepot 

Now if it had happened in a branch of the Armed Forces that actually took military justice seriously, there would be some new arrivals at Leavenworth.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

RE: B52 Takes Nuclear Missiles By Mistake

Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:03 am

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 47):
Apart from the fact that those things unfortunately happen, I don't understand why empty ACMs have to be transport on the external pylons of an airplanes that consumes huge amounts of fuel, when there is no need to. Why can't they be transported in their normal containers with a truck or a normal air transport?

The reason why they were probably flown down instead of trucked might be for crew proficiency. The crews need to fly a certain amount of training hours a month so why not have them do something useful instead of just doing touch and go,s around the field. The crew logged at least two takeoffs and two landings on that sortie. Another reason for not trucking them is they still were loaded with rocket propellant and people/politicians get nervous when you truck, even unloaded, rockets through their town. They start filing lawsuits to block the shipments, bla bla bla. Just easier to put them on a BUFF and fly them down in a couple hours. Pure speculation on my part.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos