B-52 loses flaps during test takeoff from Tinker Air Force Base

A B-52 bomber lost both of its flaps Thursday during takeoff during a test flight from Tinker Air Force Base following its overhaul at the base. The plane landed safely at the base after the incident.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Modified: November 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm •  Published: November 2, 2012

A B-52 bomber lost its flaps Thursday while taking off from Tinker Air Force Base, an engineer with the base's Air Logistics Center said.

The bomber, one of the largest aircraft in the Air Force's arsenal, landed safely after the incident and no one was injured, base spokesman Ron Mullan said.

Tinker's Air Logistics Center overhauls more than a dozen B-52 Stratofortresses each year. The bombers are then test flown before being returned to their units at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.

It was during such a test flight that one of the bombers lost both its flaps on takeoff about 1 p.m. Thursday, said an engineer at the base who did not want to be named.

Mullan confirmed a B-52 reported an in-flight emergency Thursday.

“There were parts that fell off,” Mullan said. “The pilot landed the aircraft safely and base officials are looking into the incident.”

A B-52's flaps extend from the back end of the plane's wings, which have a surface area of 4,000 square feet. The falling pieces of the bomber apparently did not cause any damage when they fell from the plane, officials said.

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