The only runway at Whiteman Air Force Base remains unusable after a B-2A Phantom stealth bomber suffered flight problems and had to make an emergency landing Saturday, the U.S. Air Force confirmed. A fire broke out and the aircraft was confirmed damaged.
The Missouri base is home to the 509th Bomber Wing, where all 20 of the unit’s B-2 Spirit stealth bombers are based. It also has only one 12,400-foot runway. Learn about the impact this shutdown may have on the wing’s day-to-day operations and the other aircraft stationed there, including the 422nd Fighter Wing’s A-10 Warthogs and MQ-9 Reapers, war zone Contact Whiteman to inquire about the status of the closure. They responded as follows:
“In answer to your question, the runway at Whiteman Air Force Base has been closed. Recovery teams are working around the clock to minimize further disruption. We remain steadfast in our Nation’s call and our mission,” Whiteman Air Force Base wrote in response.
war zone Follow up again asking if Whiteman can provide more information, including how long the runway will be closed, the extent of any damage, and whether new details have emerged after the B-2 crash over the weekend. Whiteman Air Force Base responded that the initial offer was all they had at the moment, but “more information will be released as it becomes available.”
The FAA issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) on Dec. 10 that Whiteman’s runway was closed, pending official confirmation from the Air Force. NOTAMs are designed to alert pilots to potential hazards or other factors, mostly of a temporary nature, that suddenly arise along a flight path or at a particular airport. Whiteman’s NOTAM states that the runway will remain closed until Friday, December 16, but can be lifted or extended at any time, as it is not a hard date.
all of these war zone It is currently known that Saturday’s emergency landing of the B-2 can be read in our preliminary report. While details remain scant at this point, the 509th Bomb Wing’s Public Affairs Department did respond to our initial inquiries on Saturday with the following statement:
“A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit suffered a flight failure during routine operations today and was damaged on the runway at Whiteman Air Force Base after a successful emergency landing. There were no casualties. There was a fire with the aircraft after landing. The base fire department extinguished the fire and the incident is under investigation.
The B-2 bomber involved is currently at the airport, and its general condition and the extent of the damage to the aircraft are unknown.
With only 20 Spirits in inventory, even one damaged bomber was still a glaring problem, as evidenced by the Air Force’s response to past damaged bombers. Combined with the fact that the only runway at the main bomber base now appears to be closed until further notice, it looks like Spirit’s operations will take a hit at the end of the year. Another similar incident occurred in September 2021, and that B-2 is still under maintenance.
Whiteman Air Force Base plans to receive the B-21 Raider as the facility’s B-2 spirit is phased out over the next decade.
The story is developing and war zone Be sure to keep you up to date with any updates as they arise, especially regarding runway status and the B-2 aircraft involved.