“During a routine inspection of the B-1B drogue chute system, potentially fleet-wide issues were identified with the rigging of the drogue chute. As a precautionary measure, the commander directed a holistic inspection of the entire egress system,” according to the Air Force Global Strike Command.
The drogue chute is the first parachute that deploys when the pilot or crew member ejects.
The commander of Global Strike Command — which is located at Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB) in Louisiana — ordered a safety stand-down of the B-1B Lancer fleet.
The safety stand-down will afford maintenance and Aircrew Flight Equipment technicians the necessary time to thoroughly inspect each aircraft. As these inspections are completed and any issues are resolved, aircraft will return to flight.
Noteworthy this is the second time that the USAF grounds the entire fleet of B-1 bombers in less than a year.
However the issue is believed to be unrelated to a problem with ejection seat (egress) components that forced a B-1 from Dyess AFB to make an emergency landing in Midland on May 1.
The fleet was grounded on June 7. The safety stand-down was lifted June 19.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com
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