B-1 bomber crashes at South Dakota Air Force base, crew ejects safely

by Tommy Grant

A B-1 Lancer bomber from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota crashed Thursday, with all four of its crew members ejecting, the Air Force said.

The B-1 crashed “at approximately 5:50 p.m. today while attempting to land on the installation,” the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth said in a statement. “At the time of the accident, it was on a training mission. There were four aircrew on board. All four ejected safely,”

At the time of the crash visibility was poor with freezing temperatures and low clouds, according to automated weather reporting equipment recording airfield conditions.

The B-1 is a conventional supersonic bomber that first came into service in the 1980s. It has been used to support the U.S. bomber presence in the Asia-Pacific region and to conduct close air support missions in U.S. operations in Afghanistan. It does not carry nuclear weapons.

While 100 were originally built, fewer than 60 remain in service at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas and Ellsworth Air Force Base.

Tara Copp is a Pentagon correspondent for the Associated Press. She was previously Pentagon bureau chief for Sightline Media Group.

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