B-1 bombers safety concerns, found during an inspection.
The commander of Air Force Global Strike Command ordered a safety stand-down of the B-1B Lancer fleet today after a potential problem with the ejection seat was found during an inspection.
This is the second time in 12 months that the bombers have been grounded over an issue with the ejection seat.
According to a release from Global Strike Command, an inspection crew found a potential problem with the drogue chute system, which corrects the seat’s angle to allow an airman to safely depart the bomber.
“During a routine inspection of the B-1B drogue chute system, potentially fleet-wide issues were identified with the rigging of the drogue chute,” the Air Force said.
“It appears to be a procedural issue and is unrelated to the previous problem with egress system components. As a precautionary measure, the commander directed a holistic inspection of the entire egress system,” the release said.
It’s unclear how long the bombers will be grounded.
“The safety stand-down will afford maintenance and aircrew flight equipment technicians the necessary time to thoroughly inspect each aircraft,” Global Strike Command said.
There are more than 60 B-1Bs in the fleet stationed at bases including Ellsworth Air Force Base, Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, Edwards Air Force Base in California, Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.
On Wednesday, Ellsworth was named the first home of the new B-21 bomber. That airplane will eventually replace the B1-B Lancer.