Tag Archives: Dyess Air Force Base

Dyess B-1 That Made Emergency Landing in Midland Flown To Tinker By Reserve Aircrew On 3 of 4 engines

The “Bone” at the Midland International Air & Space Port since May 1 was flown from Midland to Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma today. On Three Engines.

The B-1B Lancer that performed an emergency landing last May, was tranferred to Tinker AFB on Oct. 26, 2018.

The heavy bomber was on a training mission on May 1, 2018 when a serious engine fire erupted near the right wing root. There were fire warnings in three areas of the aircraft. All but one was extinguished by taking appropriate flight procedures, prompting the aircraft commander to heed technical orders and command a controlled manual ejection from their burning bomber over the Texas desert. When the first crew ejection seat failed to leave the plane successfully, the aircraft commander ordered the crew to immediately stop the escape procedure and managed to fly the damaged and burning aircraft with a crew hatch missing and the cockpit open to the surrounding wind blast to the Midland Air and Space Port near Odessa, Texas where the crew made a successful emergency landing.

Composite image made from FB/Time Fischer/Midland Reporter photographs that show the missing hatch on the aircraft that made the emergency landing on May 1, 2018.

For their heroism, the crew members were each presented the Distinguished Flying Cross in a ceremony July 13 at Dyess AFB.

“After undergoing a safety investigation board and maintenance to get the aircraft into a safely operable condition, an Air Force Reserve crew from the 10th Flight Test Squadron flew the aircraft to Tinker AFB. While at Tinker AFB, the B-1B will undergo depot maintenance and upgrades at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, be quality tested by the 10th FLTS, and be returned to the Dyess AFB B-1B Lancer fleet upon completion,” an official AFRC release said.

The 10th FLTS is a geographically separated unit of the 413th Flight Test Group that conducts functional check flights and acceptance check flights in B-1, B-52, E-3 and KC-135 aircraft.

Some more details about the unusual procedure to move the bomber to Tinker were provided by the always very well informed Air Force amn/nco/snco FB page that revealed that the aircraft was to be flown on 3 of 4 engines:

“OK flying on 3 of 4 engines, limited radar, and the landing gear must stay down for the entirety of flight due to possible hydro issues and the wings will not be able to sweep. One engine caught fire and spread to another engine, so they were removed. They replaced with one engine that cost between $2-3 million, hence flying back on 3 of 4 engines. The hatch that had blown off has been replaced and ejection seats work. They are currently doing Dash 1 checks.”

The following images show the 3-engine B-1 on the ground after its arrival in Tinker AFB.

Boeing B-1B Lancer, 86-0109, ‘Spectre’ taxis to park at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, Oct. 26, 2018, after completing a ferry flight with the 10th Flight Test Squadron, Air Force Reserve Command. The jet was ferried from Midland International Air & Space Port to Tinker where it will undergo depot-level maintenance and upgrades with the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex today. During a routine training flight May 1, the Dyess AFB based B-1B had an in-flight emergency resulting in an attempted ejection. The first crewmembers seat failed to deploy and the aircraft commander halted the ejection sequence and heroically saved the aircraft and crew by landing at Midland International Air & Space Port. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

10th Flight Test Squadron flight crew for B-1B Lancer, 86-0109, pose for a group photo where the #3 engine has been removed after ferrying the aircraft from Midland International Air & Space Port to Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, on Oct. 26, 2018. Shown are: Maj. Ivan Vian; pilot and aircraft commander, Maj. Michael Griffin; copilot, Lt. Col. James Couch; Offensive Weapons System Officer and Lt. Col. Matthew Grimes; Defensive Weapons System Officer. The damaged B-1B will undergo depot-level maintenance and upgrades with the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex Oct. 26, 2018. During a routine training flight May 1, the Dyess AFB based B-1B had an in-flight emergency resulting in an attempted ejection. The first crewmembers seat failed to deploy and the aircraft commander halted the ejection sequence and heroically saved the aircraft and crew by landing at Midland International Air & Space Port. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

It looks like it’s not the first time a B-1 takes-off on three engines after an emergency landing. In the end, the General Electric F101 afterburning turbofan jet engine that powers the bomber dates back to the 1980s (first run the decade before) and you can’t easily find a replacement. According to some reports, in August 2007 a “Bone” (as the B-1 is nicknamed in the pilot community) made an emergency landing in Kandahar following an engine fire over Afghanistan. Since it was considered more practical to remove the engine and fly the bomber to another base where the complex engine change could be done, the Lancer was flown on three engines to the UK (most probably RAF Fairford) by a special crew who had rehearsed the mission in a simulator for one month.

Update on Oct. 29, 08.00 GMT.
We have received an interesting description by one of our readers who has had the opportunity to get a quick look at the aircraft. The following are his observations:

The #3 Engine is removed, along with the upper and lower cowlings, and a bracing bar is installed. (I’m assuming the same configuration used for previous engine out flights).
Heat damage is evident to the surrounding paint, and structure of the nacelle itself and minor areas on the bottom of the fuselage inboard of #3.
Structurally, there is no evidence of burn through, leading me to believe the fire itself remained contained within the #3 engine and bay.

Most of the fire retardant material in the engine bay is missing, and I am assuming it burned off as intended.

However, I only had a brief look and did not climb into the OWF so I can’t comment to any damages that may or may not be present there.

There were several components which were obviously new, and placed on the aircraft to facilitate the OTF to Tinker.

This is rumor, but a maintenance team will be formed to pull a nacelle off of an AMARG jet and used to replace the current right nacelle on 109.


H/T to our reader and friend Steve Fortson for the heads-up.

Top: A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, takes off from Midland International Air & Space Port, Texas en route to Tinker AFB, Okla., Oct. 26, 2018. The B-1B has spent six months at Midland since the crew made an emergency landing there May 1, 2018. The aircraft will undergo complete depot maintenance, which includes a complete review, repair, restore and replacement of aircraft components, by experts at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex before returning to Dyess. In addition, the aircraft will undergo Block 16 upgrade modifications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Emily Copeland)

USAF B-1B Lancer Makes Emergency Landing in Midland, Texas

Reports: No Injuries in Engine Incident That Forced Emergency Landing at Airport.

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer heavy bomber is reported to have made an emergency landing following an “engine failure” at Midland International Air and Space Port between Midland and Odessa, Texas, on May 1, 2018.

The aircraft shown on the ground in photos posted on social media is from the 7th Bomb Wing, either the 28th or 9th Bomb Squadron (most probably the first one based on the tail markings) at Dyess AFB near Abilene, Texas. Midland International Air and Space Port is approximately 150 miles from Dyess AFB where the aircraft likely originated.

No injuries were reported in the incident and all four of the crewmembers on board the B-1B Lancer were reported to have left the plane on the ground normally.

A story published on the KTXS12, local ABC affiliate website, said that officials at Dyess AFB told reporters the B-1B, “experienced an in-flight emergency”. Another local news station, KWES, quoted the airport manager as saying the aircraft experienced a “flame out”.

The B-1 on the ground at Midland International Airport. Image credit: Tim Fischer/Midland Reporter-Telegram MRT.com

Reports indicate the aircraft was not carrying any munitions at the time of the incident. The bomber will remain at the Midland airport “until it can be safely returned to Dyess,” according to a new release.

The B-1B is a supersonic, four-engine, variable-geometry swept wing heavy strategic bomber that first flew in 1974. It is in operational use with the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command and has been used extensively in the Global War on Terror. The B-1B has demonstrated an excellent safety record for a large supersonic aircraft.

Top image: file photo of a U.S. Air Force B-1B

Take a seat in the cockpit of a B-1B Lancer (at low level, at night or doing an aileron roll) with this cool graduation video

Ever wondered what it looks like to be in the cockpit of a B-1 “Bone” doing an aileron roll?

Low level flying, formation flying, night refueling, range activity and even a bit of aerobatics (yes, “Bones” can perform aileron rolls): this is all what you will find in the footage below produced by B-1 FTU Class 16-02 students “to share a glimpse into the life of upgrading Pilots and WSOs (Weapon System Officers)” and shared on Twitter by @B1B_Driver.

Air Force Strike Global Command FTUs provide follow-on training for pilots, WSOs and aircrew members in their assigned aircraft (B-52, B-1 or B-2).

Several “Bones” (in accordance with the nickname used by their aircrews) have deployed to Guam on Aug. 6, marking the first B-1 deployment there in a decade.

The aircraft, replaced the B-52s in supporting the U.S. Pacific Command’s (USPACOM) Continuous Bomber Presence mission.

Update: unfortunately the footage has been removed from Youtube. Still, here’s a gif of the aileron roll part.

Here’s a Gif created from the original footage showing the B-1 performing an aileron roll as seen from the cockpit.



Watch this cool footage of two U.S. B-1s performing an “airborne pickup” departure

“Da Bone” taking off = awesome sight.

The following video is particularly interesting as it shows a type of departure rarely seen at airbases across the world: the so-called “airborne pickup.”

Military aircraft that don’t take-off in formation, usually depart in sequence, rejoining (if needed) during the climb. In an “airborne pickup” one of the aircraft takes off, makes a 180-degree turn to enter the downwind leg for the runway in use and then turns back again to rejoin with the second aircraft that, in the meanwhile, has just got airborne.

It’s a visual maneuver in which perfect timing is essential to achieve the expected outcome: if everything goes as planned, the first aircraft should be flying in formation with the other one as soon as the second aircraft has completed the departure and before it starts the next turn inbound the first waypoint.

There are no special requirements of configurations and it’s a fairly simple maneuver that requires the airborne plane to compensate for any differences in performance between the aircraft by adjusting the pattern and by calling the “brake release” to aircraft on the ground.

The following video appears to show the final part of the maneuver, with the B-1 Lancer (or “Bone”) already airborne eventually becoming number 1 of the formation departed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas (as opposed to the airborne pickup where the airborne aircraft completes the maneuver as chase plane, trailing the aircraft just taken off).

Watch a B-1 Lancer bomber buzz photographers on take off from Al Udeid airbase

Head-on take off by a “Bone” deployed to Qatar to fight ISIS

B-1’s take offs are always impressive.

B-1’s take off at Al Udeid, west of Doha, in Qatar, where the U.S. Air Force has based its heavy bombers to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria can become really breathtaking if you observe the head-on departure of a Lancer coming low over you: this is what you can (almost) experience by simply watching the following video.

Noise abatement and safety procedures stateside usually prevent such maneuvers to be performed at Dyess or Ellsworth Air Force Base.