B-1 bombers return to flight following fleet-wide grounding

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, LA — The first B-1B Lancers resumed flight operations this week following a safety stand-down issued last month by the Air Force Global Strike Command on March 28. The order was issued after a routine safety inspection identified potentially fleet-wide issues with the rigging of the drogue chute.

The new concern is unrelated to a previous problem with the egress system components that caused a similar grounding last year.

The stand-down was a precautionary safety measure that allowed crews to inspect the B-1B’s entire egress system.

Individual B-1 bombers will return to flight as inspections and maintenance are completed on each aircraft.

“We are proud of the tremendous efforts of our maintainers and Aircrew Flight Equipment technicians in identifying, inspecting, and remediating any potential issues with the B-1B egress system,” said Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., 8th Air Force commander, who is responsible for the Air Force bomber force. “The aircraft are still safe to fly and we are confident that this stand-down has resulted in increased safety within the B-1B fleet.”

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