Watch: The Most Expensive Crash In The US Air Force History, B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber Crash
On the 23rd of February in the year 2008, a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber of the U.S Air Force crashed at Andersen Air Force Base (AFB). The crashed aircraft belonged to a group of four B-2 bombers that were returning to Whiteman AFB after deployment on Oct 5, 2007. This B-2 crash is considered the most expensive crash in the history of the U.S Air Force.
Although the 2 pilots ejected safely, this crash did a total structure loss to the bomber aircraft. During the crash, the port wing hit the ground and broke off. This made the aircraft tumble and spilled fuel. Then the aircraft caught fire and destroyed the rest of the airframe and the B-2 was way beyond saving. The total loss was valued at US$ 1.4 Billion. After this crash. There was a two-month operational hold of the B-2 aircraft. The Air Force investigated the crash to take necessary development procedures to avoid such losses during routine operations of the B-2 Stealth bomber.
Investigations revealed that the pilots rotated the aircraft at below take-off speed. The reason for this was inaccurate information about air speed shown to the pilots due to moisture in the aircraft’s Port Transducer Units (PTUs). Another factor that contributed to the crash was the ineffective communication of critical information about suggested techniques to remove moisture from the PTUs prior to performing an air data calibration.
The B-2 Spirit also known as the stealth bomber is an American heavy strategic bomber. This aircraft has low observable stealth technology that enables penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses. The B-2 can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons.
Photo credits: US Air Force