June 20 (UPI) — The U.S. Air Force will resume B-1 bomber flight operations this week after a June 7 stand-down over concerns of ejection seat safety, military officials said Wednesday.
Air Force Global Strike Command issued the order after the emergency landing of a B-1B in Midland, Texas. None of the crew involved in that May 1 flight were injured.
On the doomed flight that involved a fire and a crippled bomber, an ejection seat reportedly malfunctioned, forcing the pilots to attempt the emergency landing with a blown hatch after one of the aircrew was unable to eject.
An investigation into the incident revealed fleet-wide problems with components of the B-1B ejection seats, which sparked the stand-down.
During the stand down, the Air Force Global Strike Command evaluated the egress components and determined potential risks before returning to flight.
“We have high confidence that the fleet’s egress systems are capable and the fleet is ready to return to normal flight operations,” Maj. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, 8th Air Force commander, responsible for the Air Force bomber force, said in a press release.