A US Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II out of Moody Air Force Base in Georgia accidentally dropped training bombs on Florida after hitting a bird, the 23rd Wing Public Affairs Office said in a statement.
The Moody attack aircraft assigned to the 23d Fighter Group “suffered a bird strike which caused an inadvertent release of three BDU-33s,” 25-pound nonexplosive training munitions used to simulate the 500-pound M1a-82 bombs, the statement said.
The dummy munitions fell somewhere off Highway 129 near Suwannee Springs in northern Florida. The Air Force is apparently still looking for the bombs. The service has instructed anyone who comes across them to keep their distance, explaining that while the weapons are inert, they do have a small pyrotechnic charge that could be dangerous.
The Air Force says it’s investigating after a fighter jet struck a bird and dropped three dummy bombs used for training over northern Florida.
Moody Air Force Base in central Georgia said in a news release there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage after the 25-pound (11-kilogram), nonexplosive training munitions were dropped Monday afternoon by an A-10C Thunderbolt II jet.
The base said a “bird strike” had caused “an inadvertent release” of the three dummy bombs.
The Air Force said it didn’t know where the training bombs landed, but the suspected area was about 54 miles (87 kilometers) south of the base near Suwannee Springs in northern Florida.
The Air Force said the dummy bombs, though inert, contain small pyrotechnic charges and should not be handled.
Birds are a serious problem for the US military, as they cause millions of dollars in damage a year. Since 1995, the Air Force has suffered more than 105,000 bird strikes that have cost the service more than $800 million.