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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 158651
Last updated: 1 May 2021
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Time:09:30 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Rockwell B-1B Lancer
Owner/operator:28th BWg USAF (28th Bomb Wingg United States Air Force)
Registration: 85-0091
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Broadus, 170 miles SE of Billings, Missouri -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Ellsworth AFB (KRCA)
Destination airport:Ellsworth AFB (KRCA)
Crashed during a routine training mission from Ellsworth Air Force Base. All four crew members ejected safely and landed with minor injuries.

The wings of the B-1B move from a forward position to an aft position to increase the aircraft's performance at different speeds. During a training mission, the pilot leveled the aircraft off at an altitude of roughly 20,000 feet. While on a descent to 10,000 feet, he swept the wings from the forward to the aft position. During the sweep, the aircraft developed an undetectable fuel leak in the main fuel line. Unbeknownst to the crew, approximately 7,000 pounds of fuel leaked into the aircraft during the training mission.

Eventually, the fuel contacted exposed portions of the hot precooler duct, ignited and caused an explosion that separated the left overwing fairing from the aircraft. Ignited fuel streamed from the exposed left overwing fairing cavity, heated one of the aircraft's fuel tanks, and ignited the fuel vapors inside the tank. This detonation spread through the fuel venting system that connects the fuel tanks in the aircraft, and resulted in a cascade of detonations that caused a complete and permanent loss of power to the crew compartment.

According to the results of the investigation, at some time prior to pilot's initiation of the wing sweep, the left fold down baffle became detached at one or more points, preventing it from folding as the wing swept aft. Because the baffle was detached, the wing pushed the baffle into the overwing fairing cavity where the tapered edge of the baffle cut a v-shaped hole in the main fuel line.


Revision history:

19-Aug-2013 15:32 Padidiver Added
19-Aug-2013 15:37 Alpine Flight Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
20-Aug-2013 07:46 Gordo Updated [Time, Cn]
20-Aug-2013 09:58 Gordo Updated [Time]
20-Aug-2013 15:08 krasatpi Updated [Source]
04-Jan-2018 12:25 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Operator, Location]
04-Jan-2018 12:38 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
05-Jan-2018 13:01 Aerossurance Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-Feb-2020 09:20 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]

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