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Looking Back On Ellsworth AFB Crashes

August 19, 2013, 6:02 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Looking Back On Ellsworth AFB Crashes

Fortunately, the crew of the B-1B bomber crash in Montana on Monday morning did survive. But this isn't the first time a B-1B from Ellsworth Airbase has been involved in a crash.

The B-1B bomber is designed for super sonic speeds and carries the largest payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force Inventory. With its high technology, comes a high price tag.

In 1997, a single plane was reported to be worth about $200 million. According to the U.S. Air Force website, a B-1B Lancer today costs about $283 million.

With costs this high, an accident of any kind can be a big financial blow for the U.S. Air Force. And Monday morning's crash in Montana isn't the first time a B-1 Bomber from Ellsworth Base in South Dakota has fallen from the sky.

Back in 1997, the 28th Bomb Wing of the 37th Bomb Squadron from Ellsworth crashed in Alzada, Montana. That is in the same county as Monday's crash. Unfortunately, in that crash the four crew members lost their lives.

One year later, in 1998, the same Bomb Wing crashed into the Indian Ocean on its way to a combat mission in Afghanistan. Those four crew members survived and were rescued by a Navy ship in the area.

While these crashes have been tragic losses of lives and equipment, the 28 BW has an extensive history in both war and peacetime activities.

And as the Ellsworth Base website says, the 28 BW will "continue to set pace for the future" and "stands tall as the Pioneer of Peace for the 21st Century."

There are currently 66 B-1B bombers in active force for the U.S. Air Force. The Ellsworth Base is home to 28 of those.

You can find more information about B-1B bombers on the U.S. Air Force website.

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