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B1B hit by lighting

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  • B1B hit by lighting

    B-1B Lancer bomber from Ellsworth Air Force Base was struck by lightning Wednesday night while on a training mission, leading to a change in plans which caused an unusually high level of noise over the Black Hills.

    No one was injured, and the aircraft returned safely to the base, officials said Thursday.

    Capt. Michael Johnson, chief of public affairs at Ellsworth, said the base and the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce received a number of calls from people who were curious about the noise and what the aircraft was doing.

    "You don't hear that very often, because we try very hard to prevent the noise from affecting the Black Hills," Johnson said.

    The noise could be heard from about 9 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Wednesday.

    Johnson said the B-1 had just left Ellsworth when lightning struck. To lower the landing weight of the aircraft, the crew was required to burn excess fuel before returning to the base.

    "There were very unique weather conditions," Johnson said. "They had to come down under the cloud cover to avoid additional lightning strikes. That was down at about 10,000 feet."

    Johnson said that in-flight emergencies - which include such situations as bulbs burning out inside the aircraft and much more serious incidents - "happen all the time."

    "As far as the frequency of lightning strikes, I don't know," he said. "But what made this unusual was a weather system in three directions, which forced them to fly right over the Black Hills to burn off fuel."

    It is standard procedure to return immediately to the base when an aircraft is struck by lightning. Johnson said he was not sure where the aircraft had been headed on its training mission.

  • #2
    Interesting...thanks for posting Bruno
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    • #3
      Originally posted by medic1
      Interesting...thanks for posting Bruno
      np Dave, You dont hear to much about Military aircraft getting hit.