B-1B Makes Emergency Landing
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) _ An Air Force B-1B bomber, its retractable wings stuck in a swept-back position for high-speed flight, made an emergency landing Monday at about 250 mph and its crew of five escaped injury, officials said.
″It’s down OK,″ Air Force public information officer Don Haley said moments after the landing on a nearly three-mile runway at this high desert base. ″The wings were jammed back for high-speed flight.″
The four-engine aircraft had been on a routine flight from Dyess Air Force Base near Abilene, Texas, with a crew of five. There were no injuries and the aircraft was not damaged, Haley said.
″It landed here because our runway is 15,000 feet long and if you have a problem in stopping, we have a runway that extends onto Rogers Dry Lake,″ the spokesman said.
He said the 147-foot-long aircraft was training in the Midwest when the wings jammed at a 55-degree angle.
″The wings should be at about 90 degrees from the fuselage when it lands,″ Haley said.
The B-1B wingspan is 137 feet during a normal landing and speed is about 190 mph, he said. With the wings at 55 degrees, the wingspan is about 85 feet.
″That wing angle is for high-speed flight. It is not a good landing attitude,″ Haley said, estimating the bomber’s landing speed ″was 60 miles faster than the normal 190 mph.″