A B-52 has returned to the United Kingdom, cutting short its mission, after suffering an ‘urgent issue’.

A source told me:

“I can’t go into anything on the record but there was an issue and the aircraft is returning to the United Kingdom as a safety precaution.”

Two B-52 bombers departed RAF Fairford last night, callsigns CHIEF11 and CHIEF12, 11 is currently over the Middle East and 12 has now landed safely.

B-52 bombers take off from Britain for night mission over Europe

Aircraft tracking expert Col McGowan was amongst the first to notice the urgent issue being declared, I recommend you follow him by clicking here.

 

What is PAN-PAN?

PAN-PAN is the international standard urgency signal that someone aboard a boat, ship, aircraft, or other vehicle uses to declare that they have a situation that is urgent,[1][2][3] but for the time being, does not pose an immediate danger to anyone’s life or to the vessel itself.

According to atccommunication.com, a Pan-Pan call should be used for urgent situations that are not immediately life-threatening, but require assistance from someone on the ground. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Becoming lost;
  • A serious aircraft system failure, that requires an immediate route or altitude change;
  • Other emergencies that require immediate attention and assistance from the ground.
George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

It is amazing that these planes are still flying.

RobW
RobW
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The 76 left were built between 1961 and 1963. They are due to be retired from the late 2040s, with some still flying into the 2050s. The last few to retire would have served for almost 90 years. As you say, Amazing!

maurice10
maurice10
2 months ago
Reply to  RobW

They’re virtually fossilised!

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  RobW

What is really amazing is if you take the 90 year span and look at aviation that would be the wright flyer to typhoon. So it’s a testament to the design and utility of the airframe that it will have been in service fo so long.

Jay R
Jay R
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Not really, they are triggers broom. And the political will is there. The UK should have a long range bomber, they need it. They had to use Tornado for startegic missions in Syria.

MikeB1947
MikeB1947
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay R

Good point but the U.K. will never have any requirement for a specific long-range bomber. Nevertheless, there was once an idea of using Nimrods for this purpose and I suppose the P-8s could be considered if there was a future urgent need.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
2 months ago
Reply to  MikeB1947

Do we have anything resembling a spectre gunship?

Liam Hillman
Liam Hillman
2 months ago
Reply to  MikeB1947

We did during the Falklands War. Thank goodness they were only talking about mothballing the Vulcan at the time.

Chas
Chas
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Sure is. Hopefully they’ll outlast Putin and Russia.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yep … and that worked for them.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

A pity, from a pure nostalgic viewpoint, that our 1950s strategic bombers aren’t still around to give that service.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago

Hope all are safe and well.

The symbolic act of these massive planes being here and the number that could be in the UK overnight if need be won’t be lost on Vlad.

Given how far they are flying, Middle East, it could be an onboard toilet malfunction!

Glen Taylor
Glen Taylor
2 months ago

The ancient B52 has no galley or head/toilet. There are some original issue electrically heated coffee mugs . And some 120V/400Hz electrical receptacles to plug some portable kitchen appliances . The toilet/head is a primitive open air chair with a catch can underneath and a plastic bag. Of all the billions of dollars in upgrades planned . A proper galley and head would be low cost improvement in crew productivity . The newer B1-B is actually cruder than the B-52.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Glen Taylor

Interesting: I’d understood the head issue had been dealt with as it was felt to be a sanitation issue that had operation impacts.

Seems I was wrong!

Arnfinn Rong
Arnfinn Rong
2 months ago

Good one, bro!! 😂. I hope they s**t out through the bomber doors and land it straight on the faces of Hamas

Chas
Chas
2 months ago
Reply to  Arnfinn Rong

Or Putin.

DRS
DRS
2 months ago

“Had flown at low altitude after refuel over the ‘Med.”
Probably issue with bleed air /pressure in cabin if followng low altitude back.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago

So other nations kit goes wrong too, not just our T45s!

There’s a thing.

Sean
Sean
2 months ago

The T45’s aren’t followed by tugs, nor do they have a list to starboard, so definitely better than other nations kit.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Lol, sorry Sean you didn’t get my meaning, I was being sarcastic. All the crap we read and here about our “useless” T45 from so many because of engines, lack of this and that.
And the mighty US B52 has issues and there is hardly a peep!

I know full well how good our assets are.

Sean
Sean
2 months ago

No I did get the sarcasm, I was just trying to put a cherry on the top of it 😉

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Good. 😎

Anthony Phillips
Anthony Phillips
2 months ago

When CHIEF12 overflew Barry at 10000ft this morning, unusually the undercarriage was deployed.

John Bull
John Bull
2 months ago

Preparation for conflict….?…

Jay R
Jay R
2 months ago

The Russian air force is often criticised for operating old and outdated Soviet era aircraft like the Tu-95. Yet they manage to get them over the North sea daily. I would imagine the serviceability and lethality of the Tu95 is equal to if not better than the B52. Sorry if this causes offence, but the Russian Air Force is a highly capable and more technological advanced than many westerners would imagine.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago

Did Russia/China lift a finger when the US and UK invaded Iraq? What would you have thought if they had? Or do the US have a sacred right to attack other nations without reprisal? Ukraine is not a part of NATO. That does not mean NATO should turn a blind eye to the situation and deploying more assets east to NATO countries is correct. RPGs won’t hurt the Russians, but helping Ukraine with thousands of NLAW and other AT missiles, SAM, intelligence, and possibly cyber will. This situation requires calm and tact, while strengthening NATOs eastern flank, not rushing into… Read more »

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
2 months ago

As I remember both Russia and China voted in favour of the UN military intervention in the 1st Gulf war both strongly condemning the invasion of Kuwait, China broke the post war arms sanctions by rushing to be the first country to sell weapons to them after the war ended.

In the 2nd Gulf War Russia provided military intelligence to Iraq and China said they would provide troops for the invasion if a second UN resolution was achieved. Both countries were happy to work with the new US backed Iraqi administration to win oil contracts.

Tommo
Tommo
2 months ago

Damn that Mcdonald chipfat fuel alternative

Ian Deare TMIET MIMIT FRSA
Ian Deare TMIET MIMIT FRSA
2 months ago

There are, or until very recently, still WWII Dakotas flying as commercial cargo craft

Julian
Julian
2 months ago

Reengined by Rolls Royce