A U.S. Air ForceF Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit bomber sustained minor damage during an emergency landing at Whiteman Air Force Base.
Details remain limited at this time, but there was an incident at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, the home of the Air Force’s B-2 Spirit stealth bomber force, early this morning.
This has resulted in a circular temporary flight restriction, or TFR, being put up over and around the base, extending six miles in every direction and from the ground up to 8,000 feet. The mishap involved a B-2 that was landing at Whiteman’s only runway.
An Air Force Global Strike Public Affairs unit said the aircraft had to land around 12:30 a.m. after an “in-flight malfunction” during a routine training mission.
The bomber sustained minor damage on the runway after landing, Air Force Global Strike Public Affairs Jennifer Greene said in a statement.
There were no personal injuries and no fire associated with the landing, she said.
The exact circumstances surrounding the bomber’s landing and the extent of the damage remain unclear. No further details were released.
The incident is under investigation and more information will be provided as it becomes available, Greene said.
We still don’t know just how badly damaged the B-2 involved is, but the fact that there was no fire and everyone walked away unscathed is a positive sign.
There are just 20 of these aircraft in existence out of 21 ever produced. One was lost on departure from Guam in 2008.
Another was badly damaged due to a ground fire two years later but was later returned to service after extensive and very costly repairs. The aircraft is known to be very demanding in terms of maintenance requirements—they are the most expensive weapons-carrying aircraft in the inventory to fly.