Home Losses and Aviation Safety A-10 Thunderbolt II inadvertently drops three BDU-33 Training Munitions after Bird Strike

A-10 Thunderbolt II inadvertently drops three BDU-33 Training Munitions after Bird Strike

by Gabriele Barison
A-10 Thunderbolt II inadvertently drops three BDU-33 Training Munitions after Bird Strike

The BDU-33 is a 25-pound training munition used to simulate the Mk-82 500-pound bomb. It is approximately 22 and a half inches long and is blue in color.

During a routine training mission, an A-10C Thunderbolt II assigned to the 23d Fighter Group suffered a bird strike which caused an inadvertent release of three BDU-33s, a small non-explosive training munition, on Jul. 1, 2019 at approximately 1:15 p.m.

The exact location is unknown but the suspected area is located 54 miles southwest of Moody Air Force Base in the general vicinity of 2 kilometers west of Highway 129 near Suwannee Springs.

A-10 Thunderbolt II inadvertently drops three BDU-33 Training Munitions after Bird Strike
BDU-33

No injuries or damages have been reported at this time. The incident is still currently under investigation.

The BDU-33 is a 25-pound training munition used to simulate the Mk-82 500-pound bomb. It is approximately 22 and a half inches long and is blue in color. Although the training munition is inert, it is equipped with a small pyrotechnic charge and should not be handled.

“If the training munition is found, do not approach it, take note of the location, leave the area and keep others away,” the U.S. Air Force said in a news release.

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The BDU-33 bombs are signal generating, impact or impact inertia fired practice/simulated bombs.

The BDU-33 B/B Practice Bomb has a teardrop shaped, cast-metal body with a hollow round cavity lengthwise through the center of the body.

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A conical afterbody with cruciform type fin assembly with tail tube is roll-crimped into one or two grooves in the aft end of the bomb body. A receptacle is located just forward of center of gravity on top of bomb body to install a single suspension lug if required.

A hole (approx. 3/8 inch diameter) is provided on each side of bomb for hanging bomb in suspension system utilized in SUU-20 or SUU-21 Dispensers. The lug is a separate item of issue. The firing pin assembly is a sub-component of the bomb and is positioned in the bore of the body and secured in place by a safety (cotter) pin and warning tag.

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Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver / U.S. Air Force

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