“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.”
Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker, a 3rd Infantry Division Soldier who was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment and killed in action in Iraq in 2003, is depicted in a photo illustration alongside the Distinguished Service Cross medal, which he is slated to posthumously receive for his heroic actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, April 5, 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pa. (U.S. Army)
The U.S. Army has announced it will upgrade a former 3rd Infantry Division soldier's Silver Star to a Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery during the unit's "Thunder Run" attack on Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003.
HANOI (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told the U.S. secretary of state he did not want his children to live with the burden of nuclear weapons, a former CIA officer involved in high-level diplomacy over the North's weapons was quoted as saying on Saturday.
An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.
President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.
The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.
"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."