A B-52 bomber flying over North Dakota Wednesday had one of its eight engines break apart and fall to the ground. The aircraft landed safely without further incident. The B-52 based out of Minot Air Force Base was not carrying any weapons and was flying in an unpopulated area when the engine fell off.
“Earlier today, a B-52 dropped an engine while in flight,” a spokesperson said in an email. “The aircraft landed safely with no injuries.”
A UH-1N Huey helicopter was sent to recover what was left of the engine, according to a base spokesman. The bomber runs via eight Pratt & Whitney-made TF33-P-3/103 turbofan engines. The Air Force has 76 of the aircraft in its inventory.
Col. Matthew Brooks, commander of the 5th Bomb Wing, part of Air Force Global Strike Command’s Eighth Air Force, created a safety investigation board to determine what caused the mishap, according to the second official who emailed – Military.com
Watch a Flyover of a B-52, a B1 and B2 bomber
The B-52 Stratofortress has been flying for over 60 years. It has eight jet engines, weighs in at 390,000 pounds and was the United States first long-range, swept wing heavy bomber.
Featured Image by Staff Sgt Jim Howard, U.S Air Force, via Wikimedia Commons