Air Force News

Air Combat Command releases B-1B accident investigation report

Released: Jun 12, 1998

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFNS) -- Air Combat Command has released the Aircraft Accident Investigation Report on the Feb. 18 crash of a B-1B near Marion, Ky. The B-1B was from the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

The accident happened more than three hours into a six-hour routine training mission consisting of air refueling and low-level training. The report concludes that the accident sequence began when the No. 3 engine auxiliary drive system light lit up, warning the crew of possible low oil pressure or over temperature in the No. 3 engine accessory gear box.

The aircrew immediately initiated the B-1B Emergency Engine Shutdown checklist. When the No. 3 engine fire push button on the Fire Warning Extinguisher Panel was pressed, a short circuit occurred across the panel. The short circuit closed the firewall shut-off valves of engines one, two and four, lit up the fire warning lights on engines two, three and four, and produced gray smoke in the cockpit. Within 78 seconds of depressing the No. 3 engine fire push button, an uncommanded shutdown of the other three engines resulted in the loss of all hydraulic and electrical power in the aircraft.

Without generators and hydraulic pumps, the pilots were unable to restart the engines or to control the aircraft.

The four crewmembers safely ejected. They were Lt. Col. Daniel Charchian, pilot; Capt. Jeffrey Sabella, pilot; Capt. Kevin Schields, navigator; and 1st Lt. Bert Winslow, navigator. The aircraft was destroyed on impact in a pasture.


* B-1B Lancer
* Air Combat Command
* Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
* Langley Air Force Base, Va.