Air Force Aircraft Crashes During Training Mission

A B-1B Lancer aircraft crashed during a training mission in the early evening at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. The four-person crew successfully ejected from the plane before it crashed, and fortunately, there were no serious injuries reported. Initial reports from first responders suggest an explosion followed by a fire, though it’s not confirmed whether this happened before or after the impact.

While the weather conditions could have been a contributing factor, a committee of officers from the US Air Force is currently examining the incident’s cause. According to Air and Space Forces, visibility was restricted by dense fog, and the aircraft was operating in sub-freezing temperatures.

On January 4, Ellsworth Air Force Base posted details about the crash on its Facebook page. The announcement mentioned that the incident occurred around 5:50 p.m. while the aircraft was attempting to land. All four crew members received medical attention at the base, and one of them was subsequently taken to the hospital for further care.

There were no life-threatening injuries reported. The airbase temporarily suspended similar air traffic, providing no information on the duration of the impact on flight operations.

Situated close to Rapid City in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Ellsworth is one of only two military installations globally that accommodates B-1 aircraft. The base operates two B-1B Lancer squadrons within its operations group, with a fleet of more than 20 assigned aircraft. These planes have the capability to achieve supersonic speeds exceeding 900 miles per hour, and they are equipped to carry a diverse range of weapons, including bombs, air-to-surface missiles, and cluster munitions.

The Lancers are said to have experienced significant wear and tear, having been deployed for approximately two decades in the Middle East for their role as conventional bombers. Consequently, their reliability has diminished compared to their earlier state. Plans are in place for their complete replacement in the near future. The upcoming model, the B-21 Raider, represents a next-generation stealth bomber with the capacity for both conventional and nuclear weapons.




Most Popular