A B-52 pilot aborting takeoff, along with a drag chute failure, caused the May 2016 mishap that destroyed the Stratofortress at Andersen AFB, Guam, the Air Force announced Wednesday. At 8:32 a.m. on May 16, 2016, a B-52 assigned to the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron at Andersen was taking off as part of a routine training mission. During takeoff, a pilot “analyzed bird activity and perceived cockpit indications as a loss of symmetric thrust” to the point where the pilot thought the B-52 could not safely take off. The pilot then began abort procedures, during which a drag chute failed, according to an Air Force Global Strike Command Accident Investigation Board report released Wednesday. During the aborted takeoff, the B-52 also exceeded brake energy limits. The aircraft overran the runway and caught fire. All seven aircrew members escaped, with one treated for minor injuries. The B-52 was a total loss, valued at $112 million. The bomber was deployed from Minot AFB, N.D., and was part of a continuous bomber presence mission at Andersen.
This entry was updated on April 20 to accurately reflect the steps that led to the mishap.