B-1 Bomber Crash Lands In South Dakota, Forcing Crew To Eject
SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - MAY 30: B-1B Lancer heavy-bomber aircraft of United States Air Force conducts a low altitude flight over Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 30, 2023. Flight performed as a sign of the strong partnership between the two countries.
Credit: Photo by Samir Jordamovic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

A B-1 Lancer bomber crash landed in South Dakota on Thursday, forcing the entire crew to eject during a training mission. 

The crash landing took place at 5:50 p.m. at Ellsworth Air Force Base during a training exercise. The 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth said that the accident happened while the plane was “attempting to land on the installation. At the time of the accident, it was on a training mission. There were four aircrew on board. All four ejected safely.”

There were reportedly poor winter weather conditions at the time of the crash, which is still being investigated by an officer board. 

B-1 bombers have been in use since the 1980s with about 60 being used by Dyess Air Force Base in Texas and Ellsworth Air Force Base, according to the Associated Press. 

“The B-1B holds almost 50 world records for speed, payload, range, and time of climb in its class. The National Aeronautic Association recognized the B-1B for completing one of the 10 most memorable record flights for 1994. The most recent records were made official in 2004,” the Air Force says.

The aircraft was used extensively in both Iraq and Afghanistan during the early 2000s.

“During the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom, eight B-1s dropped nearly 40 percent of the total tonnage delivered by coalition air forces. This included nearly 3,900 JDAMs, or 67 percent of the total. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the aircraft flew less than 1 percent of the combat missions while delivering 43 percent of the JDAMs used. The B-1 continues to be deployed today, flying missions daily in support of continuing operations,” according to the Air Force.


Earlier this year, the Air Force lost track of an F-35 in South Carolina after the pilot ejected. Military officials had to ask for the public’s help finding the plane and describing the incident as a “mishap.” Debris from the plane was later located in Williamsburg County after hours of searching. 

The plane, which cost about $100 million, kept going for about 60 miles after the pilot ejected. A spokesperson for Joint Base Charleston said the F-35B Lightning II jet from the Marine Attack Training Squadron was placed on autopilot before the pilot ejected.

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