The U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command has grounded its entire B-1B Lancer fleet after one of its B-1 bombers made an emergency landing due to an in-flight engine fire, and further investigation found the failure of ejection seat.
The Air Force said to have found issues with ejection seats when they carried out a safety investigation after the May 1 emergency landing of one of its B1 Bombers. On May 1, 2018, a B-1B Lancer took off from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, made an emergency landing, about 150 miles away, at the Midland International Air & Space Port due to ‘an in-flight emergency.’
According to Air Force spokesman, there are 62 B-1 bombers stationed at bases including Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, Edwards Air Force Base in California, Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.
The supersonic B-1B has been deemed the ‘backbone of America’s long-range bomber force.’ It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any target, anywhere in the world with its top speed of Mach 2.2 at high altitude and the capability of flying for long distances at Mach 0.85 at very low altitudes.
The B-1B holds almost 50 world records for speed, payload, range, and time of climb in its class.
From 1984 to 2001, ten B-1s were lost due to accidents with 17 crew members or people on board killed