HAGATNA, Guam - A B-2 stealth bomber crashed Saturday at an air base on
Guam, but both pilots ejected safely and were in good condition, the
Air Force said.
It was the first crash of a B-2 bomber, said Capt. Sheila Johnston, a
spokeswoman for Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in
Thick, black smoke could be seen billowing from the wreckage at
Andersen Air Force Base, said Jeanne Ward, a resident in the northern
village of Yigo who was on the base visiting her husband.
Ward said she didn't witness the crash but noticed a rising plume of smoke behind the base's air control tower.
She said crowds began to gather as emergency vehicles arrived.
"Everybody was on their cell phones, and the first thing everyone
wanted to know was did the pilots make it out in time," she said.
A board of officers will investigate the accident.
Each B-2 bomber costs about $1.2 billion to build. All 21 stealth
bombers are based at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, but the Air
Force has been rotating several of them through Guam since 2004, along
with B-1 and B-52 bombers.
The rotations are designed to boost the U.S. security presence in the
Asia-Pacific region while other U.S. forces diverted to fight in the
The B-2 was first publicly displayed in 1988 and took its first flight
a year later. The first bomber was delivered to Whiteman in 1993.
The accident occurred 11 days after a Navy plane crashed into the ocean
about 20 miles northeast of Guam's Ritidian Point. Four aircrew members
ejected from the EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft and were
rescued by helicopter.