Saturday, February 12, 2011

A-10 pilot executes safe jettison of munitions near Nellis AFB

Released by Nellis Public Affairs:

Release Number: 110203

Posted 2/11/2011
Updated 2/12/2011

2/11/2011 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- An A-10 Thunderbolt II assigned to the 66th Weapons Squadron of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School safely landed here at 10:07 a.m. today following an in-flight emergency.

Shortly after takeoff from Nellis, the aircraft experienced an engine malfunction. Following established emergency procedures and avoiding populated areas, the pilot executed a controlled jettison of two 500-pound Mark 82 general purpose bombs at Jettison Hill, a restricted area designated specifically for jettisoning ordnance during an emergency.

Jettison Hill is located five nautical miles north of Nellis Air Force Base, and both munitions landed in the designated area with at least one exploding upon impact. Explosive ordnance disposal personnel assigned to Nellis have responded to the site to render the area safe.

The incident is under investigation.


Related news media coverage:

Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote:

Emergency bomb drop rattles Nellis neighbors

By Keith Rogers
Posted: Feb. 11, 2011 | 2:15 p.m.

The pilot of an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jet released two 500-pound bombs Friday morning in a safe zone five miles north of Nellis Air Force Base in an emergency procedure after an engine malfunctioned, base officials said.

At least one of the Mark-82 general purpose bombs exploded and was felt at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which is near the base.

"We didn't hear it but we felt it a little bit. We felt it a shake the building," said Las Vegas Motor Speedway spokesman Jeff Motley. "We thought somebody dropped something really heavy on the roof."

The warplane from the 66th Weapons Squadron landed safely at the Air Force base at 10:07 a.m. after the in-flight emergency, according to a Nellis news release.

There were no injuries or property damage that Nellis officials are aware of, base spokesman Chuck Ramey said.

Explosive ordnance disposal personnel assigned to the base responded to the site, known as Jettison Hill, to render the area safe.

"There was at least one detonation. We're not sure about the other," Ramey said.

He said the restricted, Jettison Hill area is permanently withdrawn public land that is specifically set aside for emergency bomb drops.

The aircraft experienced an engine problem shortly after taking off from the base and the pilot followed emergency procedures by avoiding populated areas and executing a controlled jettison of the two bombs, Ramey said.


KVVU / Fox 5 News reported:

Military Jet Makes Emergency Landing At Nellis / Air Force: Pilot Launched 2 Bombs Before Landing

POSTED: 1:45 pm PST February 11, 2011
UPDATED: 11:10 pm PST February 11, 2011

LAS VEGAS -- An A-10 Thunderbolt experiencing engine malfunction made an emergency landing at Nellis Air Force Base, officials said on Friday.

Before landing, the jet's pilot launched two 500-pound bombs at Jettison Hill, a location about five miles northeast of Nellis that is designated for jettisoning ordinance during an emergency, according to the Air Force.

One of the bombs exploded upon impact, officials said.

Sitting in his Las Vegas Motor Speedway office, Dan Stetzer said he thought the sound from the explosion was a car crash.

When the building vibrated, Stetzer said he thought, "Well, maybe we have some maintenance people working on the rooftop."

The sound, it turned out, was the bomb striking Jettison Hill, a mountainside not far from his window.

"I noticed the plume of smoke in the cavern that's up there on the right hand side behind our main parking lot," he said. "It lasted 30 seconds."

Jettison Hill is a designated dropzone for military ordinance -- such as bombs -- during an emergency.

North of the speedway, Lance Marriott and his family were camping when they heard the boom.

"I don't know how far away it was, so it wasn't real intense here but, you definitely got the vibration through your body and in your head," he said. "You could feel it a little bit. It was just very loud."

The pilot landed safely at the base. The incident is under investigation.

Source (including video)

KTNV / 13 Action News reported:

Air Force jet drops bombs; witnesses rattled and surprised

Updated: Feb 12, 2011 8:18 AM

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AP) -- An Air Force pilot dropped two 500-pound bombs on restricted military land in southern Nevada after an engine malfunctioned in the fighter jet, forcing an emergency landing.

Air Force spokesman Charles Ramey said Friday that at least one of the Mark 82 general purpose bombs exploded nearly six miles north of Nellis Air Force Base. The base is about eight miles northeast of downtown Las Vegas.

Ramey says the pilot was not hurt and was able to land the plane safely.

Ramey described the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft as an attack plane built for close-range air support.

Officials say the incident is under investigation.

Ramey says the land where the bomb exploded is specially designated for pilots to jettison their munitions during an emergency.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Source (including video)

Air Force Times reported:

Warthog lands safely after engine malfunction

By Scott Fontaine - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Feb 14, 2011 10:32:43 EST

An A-10 suffering an engine malfunction made an emergency jettison of two 500-pound bombs and landed safely Friday at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

The Warthog experienced the unspecified problems shortly after takeoff from Nellis, the base reported in a news release. The pilot jettisoned two Mark 82 general-purpose bombs on a hill designated specifically for that purpose.

At least one of those bombs detonated on impact, and explosive ordnance disposal technicians worked the area to ensure it was safe, according to the base.

The plane was assigned to Nellis’ 66th Weapons Squadron, and the incident remains under investigation.


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