Ellsworth B-1 bombers return to flight

A B-1 bomber takes off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, May 14, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Karol)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (KOTA TV) – B-1 Lancer bombers have resumed flight operations this week, following a safety stand-down that has been effect since March 28.

The bombers return to flight as each aircraft’s inspections and maintenance of the entire egress system is completed.

“The aircraft are still safe to fly and we are confident that this stand-down has resulted in increased safety within the B 1B fleet,” said Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., 8th Air Force commander. Dawkins is responsible for the Air Force bomber force.

See related story Air Force grounds B-1 bomber fleet for 2nd time in under a year

The precautionary safety stand-down and holistic inspection of the entire egress system was ordered after issues were identified with the rigging of the drogue chute during a routine inspection of the B-1 drogue chute system.

The drogue chute is a parachute that deploys when a pilot or crew member ejects. It is used to help deploy the main parachute.