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Merrimack Valley

January 22, 2014

Air Force: Mechanical failure led to Methuen pilot's injuries

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The $317.7 million bomber and the four men were assigned to the 34th Bomb Squadron, 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Piedmont, S.D. The crash occurred near Broadus, Mont. No one on the ground was injured.

Biancardi has logged 2,013 flying hours in the B-1, he said, which translates to about 200 flights. That includes 1,300 to 1,500 combat hours, or about 120 combat flights, in Southwest Asia.

He returned last summer from Afghanistan, his fourth tour overseas, and has a wife and 2-year-old son with him in South Dakota.

According to the Air Force, the part that failed was a baffle, a device that redirects the flow of air or liquids, on the left overwing fairing, a metal covering that creates a seal over a cavity on the plane’s body that allows the wing to shift or slide in-flight.

The Air Force temporarily grounded all B-1 bombers after the crash for inspections, and they were cleared again for flight.

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