A B-2 Stealth Bomber is pictured leaning on one wing in the grass after veering off of the runway at Whiteman Air Force Base in the United States.

The B-2 “experienced an inflight malfunction during a routine training mission” at about 12:30 a.m. local time, an AFGSC spokeswoman said at the time back in September.

It was reported that the aircraft was damaged on the runway “after an emergency landing”.

According to the U.S Air Force magazine at the time:

“AFGSC issued a notice to Airmen (NOTAM) shortly after the accident to keep at least six miles away from the base. The initial notice said the airspace would be restricted through Sept. 17. The reason for the NOTAM was given as “to provide a safe environment for accident investigation.”   

The command declined to answer questions about whether Whiteman’s runway is operational or whether B-2s are continuing to operate while the crash is being investigated and the aircraft recovered. Whiteman is home to all 20 of the Air Force’s B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, although typically a handful are away from the base on deployment or detached to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for testing.”

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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Gareth
Gareth
3 months ago

The reason for the NOTAM was given as “to provide a safe environment for accident investigation.”

The real reason of course is “don’t fly over head, take photos, and post them on social media cos’ it’s kind of embarrassing.”

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Or it could be a tiny bit dangerous if the B2 was carrying live ordnance?

Maybe they genuinely had to clear up a big dangerous mess?

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
2 months ago

Expensive accident

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
2 months ago

About $500m expensive!

Bob
Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

Depends if it’s fixable, looks like it should be but…

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Well either way, it isn’t going to be cheap! Makes our little mishap look like a drop in the ocean (no pun intended)…

Max Jones
Max Jones
2 months ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

Factoring in inflation and program costs, the value is each aircraft is closer to $4 billion.

Mr Mark Franks
Mr Mark Franks
2 months ago

So lond as nobody was injured. The aircraft can be repaired, nicely controlled crash landing.

Nicholas
Nicholas
2 months ago

If its repairable it could be very expensive.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago

They say things happen in threes, first the F-35B on QE, an F-35A yesterday, and now this. Hopefully, that’s it for some time to come. Everyone on board was safe and aircraft can be repaired or replaced.

South Korea grounds F-35 fleet after emergency landing 10 JANUARY 2022

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/terror-insurgent-group/latest/south-korea-grounds-f-35-fleet-after-emergency-landing

Last edited 2 months ago by Nigel Collins
Bob
Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Is the B2 line still open?

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Think they’ve moved on to B21 Raider.

At twice the price…

Frank DiRienzo
Frank DiRienzo
2 months ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

No, the B21s will be half the price!
B-2s ended up so expensive, as only 21 were built out of a planned 100. The development costs were thus spread across only 20 vs 100 units.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Hi Bob, yes, they have a maintenance depot still active for the fleet of B2’s at Whitemans.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/39537/the-air-force-needs-to-reverse-engineer-parts-of-its-own-stealth-bomber

andy a
andy a
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

yes maintenance, but not production line

andy a
andy a
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

not they shut line years ago didnt they as peace dividend rubbish

Monty
Monty
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

This B-2 incident occurred back in September.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

Now the digital/information ages is a thing to see. A bog standard available free to everyone service gives every human being more intelligent resources about what’s happening anywhere on the planet than could have been dreamed of by the nations fighting in WW2.

It’s also great for looking at your house as well and comparing how big your garden is to the rest of the street……what a brilliant time to be alive.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jonathan
Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick
2 months ago

Not newsworthy..

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil Chadwick

But actually very interesting indeed, from a defence point of view it should make you think. Just look at how much intelligence and knowledge is available from open source information.

geoff
geoff
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Morning Jonathan. I presume the Ruskies or Chinese would be spitting blood if such a photo of a similar incident were to be posted from their territory!! I am really surprised that Google Maps are allowed to post such information in the public domain. Gary Powers was shot down and put in prison for less! The big question is how to pitch the rules somewhere in between what say Sweden allows and at the other end, North Korea where this photo would no doubt bring public dismemberment for the Board of Google Maps if they could get their hands on… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Yes I agree Geoff, it all goes to the debate about tec giants and social Media not having any real appropriate control over content or any form of accountability as to what it allows to go out on its platforms.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Well yes! That is where most of mine comes from!

You can lean much on GE and Street View if you know where to look.

Max Jones
Max Jones
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil Chadwick

Damage to a massive asset like this is relatively newsworthy. More so than a minor twitter feud like another recent article.

Ron
Ron
2 months ago

Ouch thats going to cost. Apart from that, why is Google Maps taking photos of an operational military airbase.

geoff
geoff
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Exactly Ron

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Morning geoff.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

The satellites that take the photos take everything in shot. Most often it is what ops and functions a facility does that is secret, not the facility itself. So a photo will not reveal that much. Things are hidden inside structures or underground. The photo will reveal nothing. There are exceptions to this, where the facility itself is covert. In which case, unless you know it is there, a satellite photo from overhead is pointless if the site is secret anyway. As no one will be looking there. Sometimes the authorities are said to blur or black out certain areas.… Read more »

Expat
Expat
2 months ago

Russia and China are going to have regular satellite overflight of facilities of any note. So this was probably already known before GM published it. War Zone regularly publishes images from commercial satellites of things of interest on US bases as well as China and Russia.

In this case adversaries will not know if the B2 is a written off or already back in service so it’s actually creating an information black hole in B2 numbers.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Expat

And Fylingdales provided a satellite warning service, so anything that needs to be indoors can be.

Andrew
Andrew
2 months ago

Is it worth repairing the aircraft, or just let it become a source of spares for the other b2’s? With the B21 scheduled to have first flight this year and 5 airframes allegedly being built, with another 2 completed, an in service date of 2026/7, to me, it seems a waste of money to repair the aircraft. Just invest the money into a B21!