Filmed on Apr. 20, 2022 the videos (posted by Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page and by 3W Daily YouTube channel) in this post show a B-1B Lancer strategic bomber catching fire during routine engine maintenance while parked on the flightline at Dyess Air Force Base (AFB).
According to a press release published on Apr. 21 by 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs, ‘At approximately 10 p.m. on April 20, a Dyess Air Force Base B-1B Lancer caught fire during routine engine maintenance while parked on the flightline.
‘Emergency response personnel arrived immediately and contained the scene. Two individuals were injured and transported to Hendrick Medical Center South with non-life-threatening injuries and have since been released.
‘The safety and welfare of all Airmen and members of Team Dyess is the top priority at America’s Lift and Strike base.
‘“We are so grateful that all members of Team Dyess involved have been treated and are now safely back at home. Thank you to our first responders who arrived immediately on scene and executed a real-world emergency response with the same level of professionalism and proficiency as they do in training,” said Col. Joseph Kramer, 7th Bomb Wing commander. “Our B-1 fleet and warfighters remain ready to execute any long-range strike mission.”
‘Cleanup operations have begun, and base officials ask for all personnel’s cooperation to remain out of the affected area until complete.’
Over the last few years the US Air Force (USAF) B-1B fleet had been plagued by several engine fires.
After recording 12,136 flying hours the B-1B Lancer 86-109, “Spectre,” on May 1, 2018 made an emergency landing in Midland after the number 4 engine had a fire in mid-air. The crew had exhausted all options to put out the fire and choose to eject. However, the first person to pull the ejection handle failed to egress from the aircraft due to a failure in the ejection seat. The crew commander then made a decision to land the aircraft instead, with a fire on board and a missing hatch.
It was later flown by the 10th Flight Test Squadron with just three functioning engines to Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, on Oct. 26, 2018 for depot maintenance. The damaged engine nacelle was replaced and the ejection seat was repaired, the Integrated Battle Station modification and a full Programed Depot Maintenance overhaul was also carried out.
The B-1B fleet was then grounded in April 2021 after a ground emergency on one of the Lancers relating to an augmenter fuel pump filter housing, after landing at Ellsworth AFB. Prior to that incident, one of the B-1s that took part in a historic deployment to Norway earlier the same year suffered significant engine damage while in that country.
As reported by Scramble Magazine, at the moment the serial of the unlucky B-1B is unknown, but judging by the videos picture we can assume that the damage is substantial, and the question is whether the Lancer will get airborne again.
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