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B-2 Spirit stealth bomber damaged following in-flight malfunction, emergency landing

A B-2 Spirit bomber, assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., made an emergency landing at approximately 12:30 a.m., Sept. 14.

According to the Air Force Global Strike Command, “A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit experienced an in-flight malfunction during a routine training mission and was damaged on the runway at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., after an emergency landing.

“There were no personnel injuries and no fire associated with the landing. The incident is under investigation and more information will be provided as it becomes available.”

The incident occurred at Whiteman’s only runway.

A temporary flight restriction was enacted by the FAA in the area and is currently scheduled to expire at 8 p.m., local time, on Sept. 17.

According to an FAA statement, the restriction was put in place “to provide a safe environment for an accident investigation.” The restriction extends six miles in each direction, and from the ground up to 8,000 feet.

The B-2 Spirit is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions, and there are currently 20 aircraft in the active Air Force inventory and one test aircraft.

Built by Northrop Grumman, the first B-2 was publicly displayed on Nov. 22, 1988, when it was rolled out of its hangar at Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, Calif. Its first flight was July 17, 1989. The B-2 Combined Test Force, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., is responsible for flight testing the engineering, manufacturing and development aircraft on the B-2.

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