Losses and Aviation Safety

Runway of Whiteman AFB damaged by fire that broke out after emergency landing of B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber following an in-flight malfunction

A Whiteman AFB B-2 Spirit stealth bomber aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing during routine operations no Dec. 10, 2022.

A Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB) B-2 Spirit stealth bomber aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing during routine operations no Dec. 10, 2022, according to 41KSHB.

An in-flight malfunction prompted the landing, which caused damage to the runway.

Following the landing, a fire broke out. A base spokesperson confirmed it was extinguished by Whiteman’s fire department.

No injuries were reported, per the spokesperson.

Investigation into the incident is ongoing.

As reported by Alert 5, according to a NOTAM, or “Notice to Airmen,” published on Dec. 10 at 2300 hrs, the base’s sole runway 01/19 was closed from that time the NOTAM was published till Dec. 16, 2359 hrs.

NOTAM M1343/22: Whiteman Air Force Base (KSZL)

M1343/22 NOTAMN

Q) ZKC/QXXXX/IV/NBO/A/000/999/3843N09332W005 A) KSZL B) 2212102301 C) 2212162359

E) RUNWAY 01/19 CLOSED

CREATED: 10 Dec 2022 23:01:00

SOURCE: KSZL

NOTAMs are notices issued by the aviation authorities to alert pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a specific airport. NOTAMs are typically issued for temporary hazards or changes to a flight area, such as temporary flight restrictions, runway closures, or changes in navigation aids. They are important for pilots to be aware of in order to ensure the safe and efficient operation of aircraft.

In the Heartland, located two miles south of Knob Noster, Mo., just off US Highway 50, Whiteman Air Force Base’s name and roots stem from World War II.

The base in fact is named in honor of 2nd Lt. George Whiteman, Air Corp, US Army, who lost his life Dec. 7, 1941, while he was attempting to take off to defend Bellows Air Field, Oahu, Hawaii, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Whiteman AFB is the only operational base for the B-2. The B-2 Spirit is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. A dramatic leap forward in technology, the bomber represents a major milestone in the US bomber program. The B-2 brings massive firepower to bear, in a short time, anywhere on the globe through previously impenetrable defenses.

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Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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