The United States Air Force's 7th Bomb Wing confirmed that one of its B-1B Lancer bombers was involved in a flight-line incident at Dyess AFB (TX), on 20 April 2022, when one of its engines caught fire. The wing’s Public Affairs Office said in a statement that the aircraft was undergoing maintenance when the fire broke out.
According to the official account, the B-1 caught fire at around 22:00 hours local time, with the aircraft receiving routine engine maintenance while parked on the flight line.
“Emergency response personnel arrived immediately and contained the scene,” the statement adds, although two persons were injured and transported to a nearby medical centre with non-life-threatening injuries.
An unofficial video on YouTube, 39 seconds long, appeared to show what looks to be a fierce fire burning under and around the aircraft.
In April last year, the entire fleet was temporarily grounded after a ground emergency on one of the bombers relating to an augmenter fuel pump filter housing, after landing at Ellsworth AFB (SD). Prior to that incident, one of the B-1s that took part in a historic deployment to Norway earlier the same year suffered significant engine damage while in that country. While there is currently no evidence to suggest that the incident at Dyess and the one in Norway are in any way linked, they nevertheless emphasize the poor run that the T-Bone has had in the last year or so when it comes to maintenance and availability.
At the moment the serial of the unlucky B-1B is unknown, but judging by the video and (poor quality) picture we assess the damage to be substantial, and the question is whether the Lancer will get airborne again.
Credit video: SkyWay Aviation Channel