A B-1 Lancer experienced an in-flight emergency shortly after takeoff June 1 and had to quickly land, the Air Force confirmed Monday.
Air Force Global Strike Command spokeswoman Maj. Anastasia Schmidt described the June 1 in-flight emergency as minor. The crew, from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, was able to safely land at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.
The incident appeared to be the most recent — and possibly last — reported problem before the Air Force ordered a stand-down June 7 of all its B-1s.
All B-1s are currently in a stand-down as the Air Force addresses an ejection seat malfunction in the four-seat conventional bomber. The stand-down was announced following a separate B-1 emergency landing May 1 at Midland International Air and Space Port.
In that May 1 incident, the crew was experiencing a potentially catastrophic engine fire, but when the first crew member tried to eject, the hatch above blew to allow escape, but the seat did not fire.
In the safety investigation board following the incident, “an issue with ejection seat components was discovered that necessitated the stand-down. As issues are resolved aircraft will return to flight,” the Air Force announced June 7.
The June 1 emergency landing was “not related to the recent B-1B stand-down,” Schmidt said in a statement. The Air Force did not immediately say what type of in-flight emergency led to the June 1 landing.
Tara Copp is the Pentagon Bureau Chief for Military Times and author of the award-winning military nonfiction "The Warbird: Three Heroes. Two Wars. One Story."