B-1 Bomber Fleet Grounded for the Second Time in Less Than a Year
ABILENE, TX -- For the second time in less than a year, the entire fleet of B-1 bombers has been grounded by the Air Force.
"Potentially fleet-wide issues were identified with the rigging of the drogue chute" during a routine inspection Air Force Global Strike Command said in a statement to KTXS. Global Strike Command, based at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, ordered a safety stand-down of the entire B-1B Lancer fleet.
The drogue chute in question is the first parachute that deploys when a pilot or crew member ejects.
"The commander directed a holistic inspection of the entire egress system," Global Strike Command said. This will allow maintenance and Aircrew Flight Equipment technicians ample time to inspect each aircraft and address the issue.
The report says the issue is not related to the issue that forced a Dyess AFB-based bomber to make an emergency landing in Midland on May 1. That issue forced a stand-down on June 7 and lasted until June 19.