A B-52H bomber named "Ghost Rider" is back from the dead.
The bomber was sitting in the "boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, when it was selected to replace another B-52 that was damaged in a fire, said Maj. Phillip Ventura, spokesman for the 2nd Bomb Wing.
On Jan. 28, 2014, two airmen suffered minor injuries when an oxygen leak caused a fire on a B-52H, which was undergoing routine maintenance, Ventura said in an email Thursday to Air Force Times. Although the plane was not destroyed, repairing the damage was deemed to be too costly.
Global Strike Command decided the most cost effective option was to replace the damaged bomber with another B-52H in storage at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, commonly known as the 'boneyard' at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ventura said.
In addition to being a storage site for planes, one of the boneyard's missions is to restore aircraft in storage to flying status, he said.
"The 309th AMRG currently houses nearly 4,000 aircraft (including 12 B-52s,) 7,000 engines and five aerospace vehicles from the Air Force, Navy-Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard and several federal agencies including NASA," Ventura said.
After "Ghost Rider" was selected to replace the damaged B-52H, crews from the 2nd and 307th Bomb Wings spent 70 days at Davis-Monthan making the plane able to fly to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, he said.
"A total force team comprised of personnel from the 2nd Bomb Wing and the 307th Bomb Wing will continue to revitalize the aircraft, using parts from [the damaged bomber]," Ventura said. "The B-52 Program Office estimates the cost at approximately $13M, with an estimated completion date in mid-2016."
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed in February 2011 places limits on how many strategic bombers the U.S. and Russia can have.
"Our treaty office has been working hand-in-hand with their counterparts throughout this process," Ventura said. "The incident was handled appropriately in accordance with established treaty guidance."