B-1B Bomber Lost in April 4 Incident

The B-1B bomber involved in the ground accident April 4 after landing at an air base in Southwest Asia was damaged so severely that the airframe is considered a loss, the Daily Report has learned. USAF has not released information on the bomber’s condition since the mishap because the findings of its accident investigation have not been disclosed. But in a response to a separate query, USAF listed the B-1B in question, which was deployed from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., as its most recent manned aircraft loss in the global war on terror. At the time of the incident, service officials stated only that the bomber caught fire while taxiing after landing, the crew safely evacuated the aircraft, and the fire was contained. There was no official indication of serious damage, although several press reports, such as one on April 5 from the Qatari Gulf Times, described civilians on the outskirts of the base hearing and feeling powerful explosions on the day of the accident. Before the incident, USAF had a fleet of 67 B-1Bs in its total active inventory.