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Agency for Fixing Other People's Screw-ups Presents:

 Recovery of B-1B "SLIP 57"

At about 10 p.m. local time on May 8, 2006, a 7th Bomb Wing B-1B Lancer (Tail Number 86132 - called "Oh! Hard Luck") based at Dyess AFB, Texas, made a wheels-up belly landing on runway 31 at Diego Garcia, skidding 7,500 feet down the runway. The aircraft was landing at the end of an 11 hour  ferry mission that started at Andersen AFB, Guam.  During the landing, the B-1B caught fire and emergency crews extinguished the flames.  The four-person aircrew escaped from the plane through the overhead escape hatch. The aircraft was finally removed from the runway 4 days later.  The Air Force Accident Investigation, released 18 Septemeber 2006, concluded the pilots forgot to lower the landing gear.  The USAF estimated the damage to the B-1B at $7.9 million, and the damage to the runway at $14,025.  RBRM and those old SEABEES made one tough runway, that's for sure!  For those of you who've never seen a $285,000,000.00 bomber on the deck, here she is!  And at the bottom is a picture of what $7.9 million in repairs and a year of work can accomplish!

Photos from the last week of April 2007.
Note DG's EMPTY ramp.  A regular ghost town now that ops moved to the Gulf.
As the Germans used to say, "For you, zuh vohr ist oh-fer"...

Finally, here she is flying today... Maintenance can fix ANYTHING!

Surprising to me is that this page has generated more comments than any other page on the web site recently!  Some are not fit to print (although enjoyable to read).  I hope all realize that the explanation of the accident above is taken from the AF Times and AF Magazine, and are NOT the comments of the webmaster.  For those interested, here are some Other Points of View:

Date = 11 Dec 6 06:58:09
YEARS = Was never there, but read the story of the B-1B Belly Flop
NAME = Kerry J. Logan
MY QUEST = Exonerate the pilots
SERVICE = USAF left in 1990
RANK/RATE/JOB = SSgt Able Avionics, F-111 B-Shop, F-15 A-Shop, Nuclear Weapons Specialist B-61 and B-83 plus SRAM. Bailed out before Clinton showed.
MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane
SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell
MY WARSTORY = You know, I was involved in an accident investigation of an F-111A that landed with its nose gear down and the mains never would lower. The pilot and copilot had tried numerous times to lower the gears, and only the nose gear would work, so they tried to blow them down with an emergency bottle that charges the hydraulic lines with 3000 psi of nitrogen. Still, the only one to come down was the nose gear. After the pilot dumped fuel and came in for the landing, the nose gear worked fine and the engine nacelle panels were the only panels damaged.  We put the plane on jacks in a hanger and connected hydraulics and
electric power to the plane.  At the command of the teams NCOIC, I lowered the gear and they all cycled down as advertised.  We never did find a problem with
the plane, certified it air worthy and it never had another landing gear problem.
     I wonder if the findings were true on that B-1B.  I bet he landed with the handle up so he would not have them cycle while he was landing.  So, when the
team did their investigation, the handle was still in the upright position. Another career bites the dust.
Kerry Logan
EX-Air Force B-Shop - Mtn Home AFB, Idaho
Now in Utah as a civilian Field Service Engineer
This is the day the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24)

17 December 06
Ken Ingle []
You don't forget to put down the landing gear in today's planes. In fact, most modern electronically equipped airplanes won't permit it. There had to be some kind of malfunction other than the pilot to cause the crash.
Ken Ingle

From:  "Maynard, Michael C TSgt 39 MXS/MXMEE" <>
Date:  05 Jan 2007, 02:05:05 AM
Subject:  Diego Garcia, comment on B-1 belly landing.
I would like to add a comment on the B-1 belly landing. Actually, there is a warning horn that sounds if the throttles are pulled back passed flight idle. If the landing gear are not down this warning horn sounds off and believe me there's no way you could ignore it. There is a warning horn silence button located next to the landing gear handle, this effectively silences the horn if you intentionally don't have the gear down for some reason. If the crew were having landing gear problems, standard procedure is to call the tower and declare an In-Flight Emergency (IFE). I don't know the contents of the accident investigation report but my guess is they did not call in any IFE. So either way, the crew was not following procedures.
TSgt Michael Maynard
USAF/Active Duty (15 Years)
Aircraft Electrical & Environmental Systems Craftsman

From:  Christopher Anymouse.
12 May 07
     I was a B-one crew chief with the 7th BW for six years and have turned many a wrench on 132. I stumbled on this page accidently and couldn't help but laugh at 132's photos. TSgt Michael Maynard is right to some extent in regards to the "Master Audio cut-out switch". It is located on the co-pilots inst. panel, strategically placed right above the VSDI and approximately 10 inches above the Landing gear control panel. When pressed, the aural tone heard in the crew's headsets will disappear. But if the cause of the tone is not remedied, the tone will resound.
     Now here's the good stuff. During 132's approach, there was a B-52 on fire at the hammer head and with a ground emergency, there comes alot of radio chatter from the tower.  My sources inform me that the circuit breaker for the aural tone generator (the thing that makes the tones in the headsets) was also pulled. That CB is located on the OSO's PCA panel in the rear of the crew compartment. After a couple of loud burst from the aural tone generator, the CB was pulled. I can't even begin to imagine why the gear was not dropped when the tone sounded the first time.
     Also, it was noted that the Aircrew did not follow the landing check list.
     The co-pilot just never threw the gear handle. There was no fault with the landing gear or its systems which can be seen being "blown" down in the pics. The two pilots, from what I was told had their wings pulled. The two back seaters are not involved in take-off or landing procedures and were not punished.
     OH! Hard Luck, how ironic.
Mors Ab Altoids

Editor's Note:  Hey Chris!
     Thanks for the clarification.  As an ex-USAF pilot myself (T-43s & C-141s), your explanation makes the most sense - it is virtually impossible to silence that horn completely in any modern military aircraft without pulling (oops, my flight engineer would have a cow - "opening") a CB.
     As for loosing wings, my guess is that they did not, unless they were regular fuckups.  Like we used to say "don't worry, you have to screw {it} up twice".  The regs are pretty clear - you have to show a history of poor judgment to loose your wings.  Of course, if the AC directed that the CB be pulled, and didn't follow the checklist, we'll the reason they made it a Tech "ORDER" was so they could get you for violating a direct order, so maybe they did loose their wings.
     Good thing it didn't happen in fifty years ago.  Curt LeMay would have had their balls for breakfast.

From December 2009:  Hi.  Hey I wanted to ad a comment to the B-1 Gear Up landing page. I was on that deployment with the Squadron and I ended up flying our first combat mission on that deployment right after we got the runway cleaned up and I knew both the pilot and co-pilot of the aircraft that landed gear up. 
     The official, publicly released Accident Investigation Board report stated that the crew forgot to lower the landing gear.  I have nothing to dispute that report.  I would ad, however, that immediately prior to the B-1 landing gear up that a B-52 from the unit we were replacing landed and caught fire with a brake fire while the B-1 crew from the gear up landing was on their first approach.  Which was certainly a distractor from the B-1 crew’s normal routine, and they had also just flown from the states to Guam the day prior.  Unfortunately, to my knowledge, those two pilots are no longer employed as such by the Air Force.  I had flown with the co-pilot on a previous mission back in the states & he did fine.  Knew the Aircraft Commander, too, he was on his way to upgrading to instructor-very nice, smart, professional guy, - Masters from Harvard even, I think.  I was not on their board to decide whether or not they flew again, glad that I wasn’t.
     There are two bottom lines here-you land a multimillion dollar jet gear up as an experienced, qualified pilot and you can expect to be fired-no surprise there, not saying if I would have voted any differently if it were my call.  But the other bottom line is there, too, and it is as follows:  In War, shit happens despite people’s best efforts. It’s called the fog of war.  
Anonymous BONE crew dog.

Editor's Note:  Some great points.  I think the fact that the "system" intimidates even professionals like yourself into commenting anonymously is the reason good men (and women) like this plane's crew get screwed.  It is a "one-mistake" Air Force - we all know that, and it is tragic.

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