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Some B-1B Lancers resume flight after safety stand-down

Aircrew members with the 9th Bomb Squadron conduct preflight inspections in a B-1B Lancer at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas April 19. This aircraft was flown to Tinker AFB, Okla. for structures prototyping evaluation. Photo by David Owsianka/U.S. Air Force
Aircrew members with the 9th Bomb Squadron conduct preflight inspections in a B-1B Lancer at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas April 19. This aircraft was flown to Tinker AFB, Okla. for structures prototyping evaluation. Photo by David Owsianka/U.S. Air Force

May 6 (UPI) -- The first B-1B Lancers resumed flight operations this week following a safety stand-down issued last month, the Air Force announced Thursday.

According to the Air Force's press release, individual B-1Bs will return to flight as inspections and maintenance are completed on each aircraft.

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Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray ordered that all 57 B-1Bs be grounded indefinitely in late April after one B-1 experienced an emergency relating to a fuel filter problem in South Dakota April 8.

During the stand-down, maintenance depot personnel disassembled the Augmenter Fuel Filter Housing and performed a series of inspections.

Once each unit was determined to be free of defects, it was reassembled, pressure checked and returned to service.

"We are proud of the tremendous efforts of our maintainers and B-1 partners in identifying, inspecting, and remediating any potential issues with the B-1B fuel filter housing," said Maj. Gen. Mark Weatherington, 8th Air Force commander, who is responsible for the Air Force bomber force, said in a press release. "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."

In February the Air Force announced plans to begin divesting 17 B-1B Lancers from its current fleet in order to make way for the B-21 Raider.

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