Air Force temporarily grounds B-1 bombers over safety concerns

Air Force temporarily grounds B-1 bombers over safety concerns
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The Air Force on Friday said it has grounded all B-1B Lancer bombers over safety concerns with the ejection seat. 

“During the safety investigation process following an emergency landing of a B-1B in Midland, Texas, an issue with ejection seat components was discovered that necessitated the stand down,” Air Force spokesman Major William Russell said in a statement

The statement notes that the order was issued Thursday

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“As issues are resolved, aircraft will return to flight,” Russell added. 

The B-1 is a major component of the U.S. long-range bombing fleet and was used in the U.S. strikes against Syria's chemical weapons facilities in April. It carries the largest payload of any aircraft in the Air Force.

The Air Force said the investigation is “to prevent future mishaps or losses” and that it would be led by experts “who investigate the incident and recommend corrective actions.”

Following a string of deadly flight mishaps, the Air Force last month said it was ordering a one-day safety review for all flying and maintenance wings by May 21.

"The safety of Airmen is the command's top priority. The Air Force takes safety incidents seriously and works diligently to identify and correct potential causes," Russell said.