An Air Force accident investigation board has decided that pilot error led to the crash of a B-1B bomber on May 8 at a forward deployed location. According to an Air Combat Command release, the pilot and co-pilot each thought the other had lowered the bomber’s landing gear. The board also cited the “task oversaturation” of the copilot and his “urgency” to finish a long mission. The board noted, too, that the pilot “unexpectedly” turned over control to the copilot for final approach. Of the four crewmembers, only the copilot suffered injury—a minor back injury—but the bomber sustained $7.9 million worth of damage.
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.