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US Air Force B-2 bomber damaged in emergency landing

B-2 crash at Whiteman AFB
Illustration: US Air Force file photo of a B-2 Spirit at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.

A US Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber has sustained damages in an emergency landing at the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.

The incident was first reported on social media on December 10 and subsequently confirmed by the 509th Bomb Wing operating out of the base to the War Zone.

A fire broke out in the aftermath of the landing, but the extent of the damages is yet to be determined.

“A US Air Force B-2 Spirit experienced an in-flight malfunction during routine operations today and was damaged on the runway at Whiteman Air Force Base after it successfully completed an emergency landing. There were no personnel injuries. There was a fire associated with the aircraft after landing, and the base fire department extinguished the fire,” the War Zone quoted a spokesperson from the 509th Bomb Wing as saying.

The incident appears to be similar to the emergency landing of a B-2 a the same base in September last year. That bomber did not experience a fire outbreak following the landing, but the air force is still working on repairing it.

An accident investigation report determined that the 2021 accident was due to the initial gear collapse due to old springs. The subsequent dragging of the bomber’s left wing along the runway caused damages with an initial estimated cost of repair of at least $10.1 million.

The B-2 Spirit is operated by the 509th and 131st Bomb Wings at Whiteman AFB, Missouri, 45 miles east of Kansas City. The air force has a total of 20 B-2 airframes after it lost one B-2 in 2008 in a crash at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.