- The US Air Force says an A-10 Thunderbolt collided with a bird over Florida on Monday, causing it to inadvertently release three training munitions over the state.
- The BDU-33s – 25-pound inert bombs – are not explosive, though they do have a pyrotechnic charge that can be dangerous if mishandled.
- There were no reports of injuries or damage, and the incident is under investigation. The Air Force is apparently still looking for the dropped munitions.
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A US Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II out of Moody Air Force Base in Georgia accidentally dropped training bombs on Florida after hitting a bird, the 23rd Wing Public Affairs Office said in a statement.
The Moody attack aircraft assigned to the 23d Fighter Group “suffered a bird strike which caused an inadvertent release of three BDU-33s,” 25-pound nonexplosive training munitions used to simulate the 500-pound M1a-82 bombs, the statement said.
The dummy munitions fell somewhere off Highway 129 near Suwannee Springs in northern Florida. The Air Force is apparently still looking for the bombs. The service has instructed anyone who comes across them to keep their distance, explaining that while the weapons are inert, they do have a small pyrotechnic charge that could be dangerous if mishandled.
There were no reports of damage or injuries, and the incident is under investigation.
Birds are a serious problem for the US military, as they cause millions of dollars in damage a year. Since 1995, the Air Force has suffered more than 105,000 bird strikes that have cost the service more than $US800 million.
This is not just an Air Force problem. Every branch of the armed forces has had run-ins with birds. In May, a bird reportedly banged up an F-35 stealth fighter to the tune of at least $US2 million.
Bird strikes have cost the military more than money, too.
From 1985 to 2016, bird strikes killed 36 American airmen, according to the 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs Office at Ellsworth Air Force Base, a bomber base where the Air Force has deployed bird cannons to keep geese at bay.