10/16/2008 – NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – A training weapon fell from an Air Force aircraft on a training mission and struck a vehicle traveling on a road adjacent to the base Oct. 15, said Nellis Air Force Base officials.
The Air Force reports that the weapon, a 25-pound BDU-33, landed near a mobility warehouse on the base before bouncing into the road and striking a civilian vehicle.
Rumors on Nellis AFB are saying that the bomb was dropped from an A-10 aircraft.
The training bomb is used to simulate the ballistics of real air-to-ground weapons and does not carry explosives. Instead, it carries a small smoke charge used to mark the device’s impact point.
Nellis AFB personnel and Las Vegas police are jointly investigating the incident.
The Air Force is remiss in admitting it, but this happens from time to time. In 2004, my old F-16 (84-1292) is being flown by the New Jersey Air National Guard. It strafed a middle school one night. Read more about that here. In March, a BDU-33 fell from an F-16 over Tulsa, Okla., striking an apartment building. In January 2007, a training bomb flying on an A-10 fell into a South Korean factory. And in January 2004, a BDU-33 fell from an F-15E and into an English industrial area. No one was injured in the accidents.
The most famous “dropped object” happened when a B-36 dropped an unarmed nuclear bomb and hit an elementary school in Rapid City Iowa.