Air Force grounds all B-1B bombers following Ellsworth incident

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. — The Air Force has grounded all B-1B Lancer bombers, after an incident at Ellsworth AFB where one of the aircraft experienced a ground emergency.

According to a report from the website The War Zone, on April 8, 2021, a B-1B experienced a ground emergency relating to an augmenter fuel pump filter housing, after landing at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

Air Force Global Strike Command’s public affairs office confirmed that subsequent inspections carried out on all B-1B aircraft produced concerning enough results that more invasive inspections were ordered. Following those inspections, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, Gen. Tim Ray, ordered a safety stand-down of the entire B-1B Lancer fleet April 20.

Us Bombers Conduct Aegean Sea Mission 1

A B-1B Lancer takes off in support of a Bomber Task Force mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 6, 2021. Bomber Task Force missions allow the U.S. to routinely and visibly demonstrate commitment to our Allies and partners through the global employment of our military.
Photo by Senior Airman Christina Bennett

The inspections will be performed under the guidance of a Time Compliance Technical Order (TCTO), and individual aircraft will return to flight when they are deemed safe to fly by Air Force officials. There is no timeline presently for when the B-1Bs are expected to be flying again.

Air Force Global Strike Command’s public affairs office informed The War Zone that B-52 and B-2 aircraft will continue to support combatant commands worldwide.


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