Part Of A B-52 Stratofortress Bomber Deployed To The UK Falls Off Into Garden Near RAF Fairford

A B-52 landing at RAF Fairford and the part lost on Oct. 29 (USAF and Shipston on Stour Police)

A B-52 on a routine training mission lost the wing-tip gear door that fell off and landed in a garden in Brailes in Warwickshire.

One of the four U.S. B-52 bombers deployed to RAF Fairford, UK, as part of Bomber Task Force Europe 20-1 since Oct. 10, 2019, lost a part that landed in a garden in Brailes, Warwickshire, on Oct. 29, the BBC reported.

According to the British media outlet, the police posted a picture of the aircraft part and reported that a resident, heard a ‘loud thud’ in her garden before discovering the object outside. The object was later identified as a wing-tip gear door and was retrieved by 2nd Bomb Wing personnel, in partnership with the UK Ministry of Defense Police.

Fortunately, no one was injured.

The B-52 part lost on Oct. 29 (Image credit: Shipston on Stour Police)

The aircraft was involved in a routine training mission even though it’s not clear whether it lost the part during departure or on arrival to Fairford, where four B-52 assigned to the 96th Bomb Squadron, 2nd Bomb Wing from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, are currently based.

The mishap is already under investigation.

Even though it’s not normal nor routine, military (as well as civil) aircraft, even those much younger than the +60-year old Buffs, may lose parts while flying: we have reported about a MiG-35 that lost a panel during MAKS on Aug. 30, 2019; same happened to an F-16 that lost an access panel in flight during the Friday, August 2 practice session for the 2019 Thunder Over Michigan airshow at Willow Run Airport in Romulus, Michigan; an A-10 that lost three practice bombs after a birdstrike in July 2019; an F-35 lost a panel near Okinawa in 2017; a U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender belonging to the 60th Air Mobility Wing lost its flying boom that landed in hay-field on Nov. 1, 2016; etc. There are aircraft which lost targeting pods, others losing fuel tanks or even live missiles (as happened to an Italian F-104 during an Alert Scramble many years ago). It has always happened for some reason or another one. Fortunately, no one was hurt in most of these incidents. 

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.