B2 Spirit Crashes in Guam

In News on February 25, 2008 at 9:58 am
pic courtesy ABC news

Excerpt from USA today:

HAGATNA, Guam — A board of military officers will investigate Saturday’s crash of a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, which forced two pilots to eject to safety before the aricraft fell from the sky shortly after takeoff at Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base.

Yigo resident Albert Saboy, a heavy equipment operator who sometimes works on Andersen, was at his home near the base when he heard an explosion of the bomber crash.

“I heard a loud bang, saw some smoke and a co-worker called me and told me what happened,” he said. “My co-worker was driving the water truck with the air-con on and windows up, he could still feel the burst.”

According to Saboy, his co-worker said the bomber exploded a second time about 30 minutes after it crashed. Other residents also reported hearing two explosions.

Jeanne Ward, another witness, was on base visiting her husband for lunch when the bomber crashed. Ward said she didn’t see the aircraft hit the ground because she was inside a building, but immediately noticed a rising plume of thick black smoke behind the base’s air control tower.

The Air Force has 21 B-2 bombers. Missouri’s Whiteman Air Force Base is their long-term home. The four B-2s currently deployed in Guam, were scheduled to return to Missouri now that six B-52s from the 96th Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., have arrived to replace them.

B-2s have been rotating through Guam since 2004, along with B-1 and B-52 bombers.

An Air Force fact sheet lists the price of a B-2 at $1.2 billion, but a report from the Government Accountability Office estimates that each plane can cost up to $2.2 billion.

Crickey… at 2.2B, one of these could buy around 20 F15s! This is easily the most expensive aircraft to crash. Since the USAF have a reported 21 planes (now 20) thats like losing 5% of their B2 fleet!


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