Impressive video of a B-1B bomber crash landing on a dry lake

Check out this video of a Rockwell B-1B Lancer bomber landing at Roger Dry Lake, at Edwards Air Force Base, California. After discovering a failure in their front gear, the crew was directed to land in this location because its clay surface minimizes airplane damage.

I love how it keeps a steady level for many seconds after touchdown, but according to an airline pilot friend of mine, that's the wrong thing to do. You have to slowly drop a little earlier because, if you don't, the nose can drop really hard and damage the fuselage. In any case, steel balls.

For what is worth, that B-1B costs $406 million (after adjusting for inflation.)


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DISCUSSION

johnhinesjr
JohnHinesJr

I was stationed at Dyess AFB when this happened. There were many long, heated discussions about crew safety, airframe damage, survivability, gross weight, and all of the sensitive electronics in the terrain following radar system in the nose cone. I can say with 100% certainty that Capt. Beene handled the landing exactly as it should have been done.

They were hoping the impact of touchdown would "unstick" the nose gear, although two failed touch-and-go attempts at Dyess had shown that to be unlikely. Between the time of touchdown and deciding to put the nose down, they were attempting to get the gear unstuck.

Also, it should be noted that while the aircraft commander and the pilot were necessary for this landing, the two navigators elected to remain with the aircraft instead of ejecting. I'm not sure if that's brave or foolish, but it's what they chose to do.