A U.S. B-1B bomber aircraft crashed into the tarmac during landing at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, but all four crew members safely ejected, the Air Force said in a statement late Thursday.
The incident took place at 5:50 p.m. Thursday following a training mission, the Air Force’s 28th Bomb Wing assigned to Ellsworth said in a statement, adding that the installation will convene a board of officers to investigate the crash. Automatic weather trackers recorded below-freezing temperatures and low clouds causing poor visibility, according to The Associated Press.
“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. At the time of the accident, it was on a training mission,” the statement read.
“There were four aircrew on board. All four ejected safely. A board of officers will investigate the accident. Additional details will be provided as they become available.”
A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued at the time showed thick fog and that the airbase had been closed following the incident.
The B-1B Lancer came into service in the 1980s, designed to fly at supersonic speeds and deliver conventional payloads, according to the AP. It has been used to conduct bomber flyovers in the Asia-Pacific region and to provide close air support in Afghanistan.
Initially the Air Force built 100 of the bombers, but less than 60 remain active at Ellsworth and at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas.
The 38th Bomber Wing did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for the latest information, including the damage to the aircraft.
Earlier in December, U.S. F-16 fighter jet experienced an in-flight emergency and crashed near South Korea on Monday local time during a routine training exercise.
An Air Force special operations tiltrotor aircraft crashed into waters off the coast of Japan on Nov. 29, killing all eight crew on board.
Micaela Burrow on January 5, 2024