Hot on the heels of February’s B-2 bomber crash on Guam, a USAF B-1 bomber has crashed at an air base in Qatar, most likely Al Udeid, the A.P. reports. “A B-1 crashed. We’re investigating,” an Air Force official said. There’s no word on the crew.
The B-2 crash was the type’s first, and took out a full five percent of the fleet. Today’s crash is the ninth for the currently 70-strong B-1 fleet. Prior to today, 17 people had died in B-1 accidents.
While crashes are a fact of life in the Air Force, you can’t help wonder if the recent spate of accidents isn’t putting pressure on the Air Force to get serious about its so-called “2018 bomber.”
Update 20:37 EST:
Fire erupted as the plane taxied after landing at al Udeid Air Base around 1:10 p.m. EDT after what the Air Force described as “a ground incident.” “The crew evacuated the aircraft and is safe. The fire was contained,” the Air Force said in a statement.
(Flickr photo by Brian Reynolds)