A B-1 Lancer made an emergency landing after experiencing an in-flight incident on June 1, less than one week before the Air Force ordered a stand-down of its entire fleet, a spokesman for Air Force Global Strike Command confirmed to Air Force Times on Monday.
- The B-1 crew out of Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, experienced a “minor” issue after take-off, forcing the crew to quickly land at Hawaii's Hickam Air Force Base, AFGSC spokeswoman Maj. Anastasia Schmidt told Air Force Times on June 11.
- According to Schmidt, the June 1 incident was “not related” to the recent B-1B stand-down announced on June 7.
- The fleet was officially grounded after an investigation into the May 1 emergency landing of a B-1B Lancer in Midland County, Texas, revealed problems with the fleet’s ejection seat components that could turn in-flight crises into nightmare scenarios.
- “The mission commander on this ill-fated B-1B sortie likely faced the mortifying choice of saving the remaining two crewmembers and their own life by ejecting or risking all of their lives to land the crippled aircraft,” wrote T&P;'s Brad Howard at the time. “Had the fire spread it could easily have resulted in a flashpoint situation which would have destroyed the entire aircraft in short order.”
Anyway, Air Force Times first reported on the new B-1B incident on the same day that an Air Force F-15C Eagle crashed off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, leaving the pilot in serious condition. America's aviation crisis is only going to get worse before it gets better.