The Air Force is inspecting all of its B-1B bombers for electrical, hydraulic and fuel line problems following the crash of one of the costly new planes in Texas.
The inspections were prompted by Tuesday's crash during a routine training flight out of Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. The four men aboard ejected safely after steering the flaming aircraft away from homes where it crashed west of Abilene.Pentagon officials said Wednesday that the remaining B-1Bs, long-range bombers designed to be capable of carrying out nuclear strikes against the Soviet Union, would be grounded for the inspections.
Col. Albert Jensen, wing commander at Dyess, said television footage of Tuesday's crash led Air Force officials to believe the plane was downed by a fire in or around its two left-wing engines.
Some training flights had resumed at Dyess by Wednesday afternoon. Officials said the planes flying had passed the inspection ordered by the Strategic Air Command.
The inspections take two to three hours per plane, according to the Air Force.
An Air Force official at the Pentagon, who asked not to be named, said the inspections generally focus on electrical, hydraulic and fuel lines.