F-15E accidentally drops training bomb in England
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 48th Fighter Wing dropped a 25-pound training munition in a sparsely populated area of northern England last week.
The BDU-33 training bomb fell about 5:15 p.m. Thursday in an area described by a wing spokesman as a “rural industrial area” near Howden and Market Weighton southeast of York. There were no injuries or damage.
The munition is used in training and gives off a nontoxic white cloud on impact so observers can gauge the accuracy of the drop, said 1st Lt. Ed Ekpoudom of the 48th Fighter Wing public affairs office.
“It didn’t land where it was supposed to,” he said.
The bomb was recovered after leaving a hole 18 inches in diameter in the northern England landscape. Personnel from the base, the Ministry of Defense and the local constabulary responded to the incident.
“This is an extremely rare occurrence,” Ekpoudom said. “Public safety is a primary concern. Every measure is taken to ensure that we minimize damage to the public.”
He said the incident is undergoing a “very thorough investigation.”
The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter/bomber designed to perform air-to-ground and air-to-air missions. It carries two crewmembers, a pilot and a weapons system officer.
The jet aircraft has been in use by the Air Force since 1988. Currently, more than 200 are in the service’s inventory.