B-52 Safety Statistics
The USAF defines a Class A mishap as a mishap resulting in one or more of the following: 1. Direct mishap cost totaling $2,000,000 or more ($1,000,000 for mishaps occurring before FY10). 2. A fatality or permanent total disability. 3. Destruction of a DoD aircraft. NOTE: A destroyed UAV/RPA is not a Class A mishap unless the preceding criteria in “1” or “2” are met. A Class B Mishap is a mishap resulting in one or more of the following: 1. Direct mishap cost totaling $500,000 or more but less than $2,000,000 ($200,000 to $1,000,000 prior to FY10). 2. A permanent partial disability. 3. Inpatient hospitalization of three or more personnel. Does not count or include individuals hospitalized for observation, diagnostic, or administrative purposes that were treated and released.
The overall USAF average Class A mishap rate for the 10-year period 1995-2005 was 1.32 mishaps every 100,000 flying hours or I mishap every 75,757 hours. This rate can be considered the probability of a mishap, or the risk. Put another way, it is the time between failures (TBF), one catastrophic failure every 75,757 flying hours.
An Aviation “Flight” mishap is any mishap in which there is intent for flight and reportable damage to a DoD aircraft. Explosives and chemical agents or guided missile mishaps that cause damage in excess of $20,000 to a DoD aircraft with intent for flight are categorized as aircraft flight mishaps to avoid dual reporting. This is the only aviation mishap subcategory that contributes to the flight mishap rate (NOT flight related or Aviation Ground Ops).
Post Cold War Mishaps
The Berline Wall was torn down in November 1989. The USSR officially ceased to exist on 31 December 1991.
- A B-52 crashed on 03 February 1991, when an airplane returning from a Desert Storm mission crashed into the Indian Ocean 15 miles north of Diego Garcia. The cause of the crash, which killed three of the six crew members, was determined to have been an electrical failure.
- On 24 June 1994, Czar 52, a B-52H assigned to the 325th Bonrb Squadrorl 92d Bomb Wing, Fairchild AFB, WA launched at approximatcly 1358 hours Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), to practice air show manuevers for the upcoming 26 June 1994 Fairchild AFB, WA airshow. The aircrew flew a planned profile that exceeded authorized flight maneuvers. At the end, the aircraft rolled out on a short final approach for landing. The crew executed a missed approach because an aircraft was on the runway. At mid-field the B-52 began a tight 360° turn around the airfield tower at about 250 fect AGL; with over 60° of bank. Regulations authorized 30° of bank. The aircraft reached 90° of bank, stalled, lost altitude, and impacted the ground. The pilot had a history of exccessively aggwsive flying and poor airmanship. The frcquently cbanged wing leadership did not recognize this pattern of behavior.
- B-52 Class-A Mishap on 05 December 2001 - Three US special forces soldiers were killed and 20 others hurt in Afghanistan when a B-52 bomber accidentally dropped a bomb near them.
- On 22 July 2008 an unarmed B-52 crashed while making a swing around the island from Andersen Air Force Base for a celebratory fly-over of another part of the island as part of Guam Liberation Day celebrations. The B-52 left Andersen Air Force Base at 9 a.m. local time, and was lost on radar just under 90 minutes later. All six members of the crew were killed. The plane that crashed was based at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and deployed to Guam as part of the Department of Defense's continuous bomber presence mission in the Pacific. The most likely cause of the crash, according to the AIB, was runaway stabilizer/trim in the nose-down condition. From the onset of the maneuver to impact was just about a minute. Due to fleet size adjustments from 56 to 76 TAI and the FY08 Class A MISHAP, 82 Group A kits required procurement to support the 76 TAI. Procurement of 82 kits was required due to (5) installed kits being lost to aircraft retirements (these kits cannot be reconstituted) and (1) installed kit was lost to the FY08 B-52 Class A MISHAP. (82-6 = 76)
- On 1 November 2012, at approximately 1237 hours local time (L), a B-52H, tail number (T/N) 61-0014, assigned to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex at Tinker Air Force Base (AFB), Oklahoma, lost the inboard flap sections from each wing shortly after takeoff. No one involved in the mishap sustained any injuries. The mishap aircraft (MA) suffered extensive damage to both wings and the fuselage. There was no damage to private property, although the flaps fell in a heavily wooded area owned by Oklahoma City. The estimated repair cost of the MA was $1.08 million. The board president found, by clear and convincing evidence, the cause of the mishap was a failure by maintenance, specifically one maintainer (MX1), to install the retainer plugs in the forward ends of the flap drivescrew assemblies in the inboard flap actuators.
- During service on 28 January 2014 an oxygen leak cause a fire. Two servicemen were injured. Because of the high cost of repair, Global Strike Command decided that best solution was to renovate and replace this machine with another from boneyard in Davis-Monthan AFB (AZ). It will be the B-52H 'Ghost Rider".
- A B-52H Stratofortress crashed at approximately 8:30 am local time, 18 May 2016, on the flightline at Andersen Air Force Base. All seven aircrew members safely egressed the aircraft. No injuries were reported. The aircraft was carrying inert munitions at the time and posed no danger to the local community. The B-52 was deployed to Andersen AFB from Minot AFB, North Dakota, as part of the Defense Department's continuous bomber presence mission in the Pacific.
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