A United States B-1 Lancer bomber crashed Thursday afternoon during a training mission; however, all of the crew members “ejected safely.” The B-1 Lancer was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.
After the incident, Ellsworth Air Force Base released a statement on Facebook, explaining, “An Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base crashed at approximately 5:50 p.m. today while attempting to land on the installation.”
Ellsworth Air Force Base officials noted that the B-1 Lancer bomber was participating in a “training mission” when the accident occurred on Thursday.
“There were four aircrew on board. All four ejected safely,” Ellsworth Air Force Base officials added.
According to the South Dakota Air Force base, a board of officers will handle the investigation into the cause of Thursday’s bomber accident. Ellsworth Air Force Base officials said additional details pertaining to the crash will “be provided as they become available.”
According to The Associated Press, airfield conditions recorded by automated weather reporting equipment indicated that visibility was poor, low clouds were present, and there were freezing temperatures in the area around the time of the B-1 Lancer bomber crash on Thursday.
According to the Air Force’s website, the B-1 Lancer bomber is a “highly versatile, multi-mission weapon system” and is a “key element of any joint/composite strike force.”
“Carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America’s long-range bomber force,” the Air Force states on its website. “It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time.”
According to The Associated Press, the Air Force currently has less than 60 B-1 Lancer bombers in service. A total of 100 B-1 Lancer bombers were originally constructed for the Air Force.