Saturday, February 23, 2008

B-2 Bomber Crashes at Andersen AFB, Guam

From Bloomberg:

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- A B-2 stealth bomber crashed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and both pilots were safe after ejecting, the Pacific Air Forces said today in a statement on its Web site.

The Pacific Air Forces said a board of officers will look into the accident and more information will be made available later. The pilots were from the 509th Bomb Wing and are in ``good condition'' after medical checks were carried out, the statement said. The aircraft was sent to Guam from Whiteman Air Force base in Missouri, its only operational base.

The B-2 stealth bomber, which costs about $1.2 billion, can carry conventional and nuclear bombs, according to a fact sheet on the same Web site. The design, materials and coatings make its detection by defensive radar systems difficult.

The aircraft involved in the crash was destroyed during the accident, the Air Force Times reported, citing an unidentified official at Andersen Air Force Base. Calls made to the two phone numbers listed in the statement by the Pacific Air Forces weren't immediately answered.

The accident happened at around 10:30 a.m. local time when the aircraft was leaving the base in Yigo, Guam, the U.S. territory's local media Kuam News reported. It was the second military plane to crash in a month after a Navy Ea-6b Prowler from the USS Kittyhawk went down 20 miles from the base Feb. 12, Kuam News said.

I got the call from my flight super about five hours later; I didn't want to post anything about it until I saw it in the news. Now that it's out, though, I'm blogging about it here. I don't have any special insight as to what may have caused two planes to crash out here inside of a month, except that Andersen is seriously under-manned right now. I know that when people are overworked and understaffed, it puts a strain on people and their families, and that accidents do increase.

Once is happenstance... twice is coincidence... thrice is enemy action. This is only twice, so far. Let's all hope it stays that way.

Discuss at The Forum.

1 comment:

Blossom said...

Good that it had no warheads on it.