B-52 Loses Flaps

A malfunction caused a B-52H to shed its wing flaps in mid flight on a sortie from Tinker AFB, Okla. The aircraft “lost the left and right inboard flaps” on takeoff on Nov. 1 and the entire assemblies physically “came off the aircraft,” Tinker spokesman Ron Mullan told the Daily Report on Nov. 5. The aircrew quickly declared an in-flight emergency and “came back around and landed safely at the base,” he added. The bomber, assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, N.D., had just completed programmed depot maintenance at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex and was undertaking a functional test flight before returning to Minot when the incident occurred. Mullan said a base safety board is “looking into the incident,” but the Air Force has not yet convened an accident investigation board. (See also The Oklahoman report.)