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Here's Why The Ejection Seat Failed During That Fiery B-1B Lancer Emergency Landing
A “crimped” part prevented an ejection seat from a stricken B-1B Lancer bomber from firing in May during an in-flight emergency, forcing the aircrew to land the bomber rather than abandon a stranded crew member, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters on Tuesday.
- “What we’ve learned from the investigation is there are actually two pathways to fire the seat and there was one particular part that had gotten crimped, so that when he pulled the handles the signal to the ejection seat didn’t flow,” Goldfein explained.
- The part likely deformed over time, and that is a common issue with older aircraft that have components that are not easily replaced anymore, Goldfein said. Eventually, the Air Force determined another way to fire the B-1’s ejection seats in sequenced intervals, so that the crew does not all bail out at the same time.
- “There’s actually a secondary pathway that allows them to initiate ejection,” Goldfein said. “So when we went through that process, that’s why we allowed them [B-1 bombers] to get back in the air and continue flying. Now we’re going through the technical change orders to make sure that we’re changing all those parts to make sure they’re full up.”
- “What essentially happened was one of the crew members when they pulled the [ejection] handles to go, it didn’t function,” Goldfein explained on Tuesday. “Within a few seconds, the aircraft commander made a decision to stop the ejection sequence. Now, they actually were on fire and that’s never a good thing – to have a fire in an aircraft full of fuel.”
- The four airmen aboard the bomber were recently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroically landing the B-1B at Midland, Texas, while the plane was on fire. The Air Force temporarily grounded all B-1 bombers after the May 1 incident.
It's worth noting that Goldfein ejected from an F-16 when he was shot down over Serbia in May 1999, and his experience apparently gave him an appreciation of the severity of the emergency the bomber’s aircrew found themselves in.
“That young man was sitting on a live ejection seat,” Goldfein said. “Having ridden one out of an airplane, I’m here to tell you: You’ve got to think about what was in that crew’s mind – never knowing if a gust or something was going to fire them out of the aircraft. They made this decision to all stay together.”
A group of vets are raising money to pay for a medal the Iraqi government awarded them, but never delivered
In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.
The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.
A small group of veterans hopes to change that.
For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.
The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.
A doctor who treated accident victims has a radioactive isotope in his body. Russia says it came from his diet
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities said on Friday that a doctor who treated those injured in a mysterious accident this month had the radioactive isotope Caesium-137 in his body, but said it was probably put there by his diet.
The deadly accident at a military site in northern Russia took place on Aug. 8 and caused a brief spurt of radiation. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said it occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.
Groundwater at the Air Force Academy is contaminated with the same toxic chemicals polluting a southern El Paso County aquifer, expanding a problem that has cost tens of millions of dollars to address in the Pikes Peak region.
Plans are underway to begin testing drinking water wells south of the academy in the Woodmen Valley area after unsafe levels of the chemicals were found at four locations on base, the academy said Thursday.