US Navy ‘doomsday’ aircraft grounded by bird strike

A Navy “doomsday” aircraft designed to be used as a command center in a nuclear battle was knocked out of price – by a bird, which precipitated over $2 million in damages when it was sucked into an engine all through a verify flight.

The E-6B Mercury airplane was grounded after an unidentified species of bird was sucked into one amongst its four engines all through a verify flight at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland earlier this month. The airplane was conducting a touch-and-go landing when the “Class A” accident occurred, inflicting over $2 million in damages and requiring the substitute of the full engine. The bird was the one casualty.

The “doomsday” aircraft is designed to operate a command and administration put up throughout the event of a nuclear battle, connecting the US’ “nuclear triad” of submarines, Air Force bombers, and ICBMs with the president and the Pentagon chief. The stricken craft has been repaired and returned to service. It is the second E-6B Mercury to satisfy with pricey misfortune this yr; one different of the $141 million aircraft was damaged whereas being towed out of a hangar at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma in February.

An investigation into the bird strike is ongoing. Alas, naval investigators missed out on the chance to question the winged saboteur.