ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The entire B-1B Lancer fleet has been ordered to stand down due to a potential fuel pump issue.
Inspectors found an issue with an Augmenter Fuel Pump Filter Housing on an aircraft that had an emergency at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota April 8.
Global Strike Command officials released the following statement regarding the grounding of the B-1B fleet, which is a precautionary measure:
The Air Force Global Strike Command commander, Gen. Tim Ray, ordered a safety stand-down of the B-1B Lancer fleet April 20. The safety of Airmen is the command’s top priority. During the inspection process following a B-1B ground emergency on April 8 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, a discrepancy with an Augmenter Fuel Pump Filter Housing was discovered. As a precautionary measure, the commander directed one-time inspections on all B-1B aircraft to resolve this issue. After further analysis, the commander stood down the fleet because it was determined a more invasive inspection was needed to ensure the safety of aircrews. Individual aircraft will return to flight when they are deemed safe to fly by Air Force officials. The Air Force takes all incidents seriously and works diligently to identify and correct potential causes. More details may be released when available. Air Force Global Strike bombers will continue supporting combatant commands across the globe.
Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene is home to 33 B-1B Lancers, which have been affected by this order to stand down.