Malfunction Aboard B-2 Forces Emergency Landing at WAFB
A B-2 Stealth Bomber on a routine flight was forced to make an emergency landing at Whiteman Air Force Base Saturday.
WAFB reported that an in-flight malfunction required an emergency landing at the base, located near Knob Noster.
Upon landing, a fire broke out on the B-2, prompting the WAFB fire department to respond and extinguish the blaze.
No injuries were reported during the incident, but the aircraft was reportedly damaged.
Whiteman issued a "NOTAM" Saturday night at 11 p.m.
The emergency landing caused damage to Runway 1/19, and remains closed until Dec. 16.
An investigation is on-going.
The 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs office issued the following statement:
"A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit experienced an in-flight malfunction during routine operations today and was damaged on the runway at Whiteman Air Force Base after it successfully completed an emergency landing. There were no personnel injuries. There was a fire associated with the aircraft after landing, and the base fire department extinguished the fire. The incident is under investigation."
Whiteman produced a video released Nov. 7 showcasing the readiness of the 20-bomber fleet and the airmen who are responsible for the program, which first arrived at the mid-Missouri base Dec. 17, 1993.
The U.S. Air Force, on Dec. 2, publicly unveiled the B-21 Raider, the first new, long-range strike bomber in a generation and an aircraft specifically designed to be the multifunctional backbone of the modernized bomber fleet, according to WAFB.
The next-generation stealth plane looks very similar to the B-2, but will reportedly be capable of flying without a crew on board.
While the B-21 isn’t expected to be operational and introduced into service for several more years, the formal unveiling ceremony hosted by Northrop Grumman Corporation at its production facilities in California is a significant milestone in the Air Force’s effort to modernize combat capabilities, Whiteman said.
The B-21 is designed to be a more capable and adaptable, state-of-the-art aircraft that will gradually replace the aging B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers now in service.
While the precise date when the B-21 will enter service is unknown, basing decisions have been made. Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota will become the first Main Operating Base and formal training unit for the B-21.
Whiteman AFB, Missouri, and Dyess AFB, Texas, are the preferred locations for the remaining home bases. Each will receive aircraft as they become available.