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B-1 bomber crashes during training mission in South Dakota; crew ejected safely

A B-1 Lancer bomber assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota crashed during a training mission Thursday afternoon, according to a news release from the base.

The aircraft was attempting to land on the installation at around 5:50 p.m. when it crashed.

Four crew members were on board during the incident and all four ejected safely, according to the base. Further details on their conditions were not released.

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The base said a board of officers will be investigating what caused the accident.

Automated weather reporting equipment recording airfield conditions reported poor visibility, freezing temperatures and low clouds at the time of the crash, according to The Associated Press.

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The B-1 Lancer bomber is a “highly versatile, multi-mission weapon system,” according to the Air Force, and it is “capable of tracking, targeting and engaging moving vehicles as well as self-targeting and terrain-following mode.”

The aircraft carries the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory” and is considered “the backbone of America’s long-range bomber force,” according to its description on the USAF website.

While 100 were originally built, fewer than 60 remain in service at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas and at Ellsworth, the AP reported.

 

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