Monday, June 26, 2006
B-1B No-Gear Landing - The Report Is Out
I've been sitting on this very pathetic yet entertaining story for a couple of months, but now that the photos and report are circulating around I can finally talk about it.
About two months ago the Air Force had a very critical and very expensive B-1B Bomber conduct a perfect no-gear landing out at Diego Garcia, an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The crew was inbound from Guam, about to complete their nearly 11 hour flight when the incident occurred.
The only thing more amazing than this perfect belly landing and slide down the centerline was the fact that the Pilot and Copilot did it on accident. Due to a failure in CRM (Crew Resource Management) and obvious fatigue, the Major and 1Lt. were too distracted with the little stuff to notice that neither of them had pulled that bright flashing little lever located right between them. This is '1st day of pilot training' sort of stuff, yet these guys screwed up big time.
The Air Traffic Controllers also were at fault because they should have been watching the bomber on final to visually check for landing lights. Hopefully they get a little slap up side the head too.
Yes, accidents happen and people make mistakes, so I won't be too hard on these guys since no lives were lost. If they really are good pilots they should have ripped the wings off their flight suits after climbing out of the top hatch of the cockpit and handed them to the on-scene Commander. Then they should have walked directly to the finance office and started a direct withdrawal from their monthly salary to help pay for the 4 engines they just grinded down over 7,000 feet of the runway.
Either way, I'm sure the Air Force can find two cubicles for these guys to fill for the next 20 years.
posted by El Capitan at 10:53 AM