The B-2 stealth bomber, whose memorable swooping flights over the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl began 26 years ago, will not take off for the annual New Year’s events in Pasadena on Jan. 2, military officials said.
Citing safety concerns following an emergency at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, Air Force officials announced the entire fleet of B-2 stealth bombers would be grounded until they could be inspected.
“Our primary concern is the safety of our personnel and fleet,” US Air Force Colonel Daniel Diehl said in a statement. “We deeply regret having to make this decision so shortly before the event.”
The decision to ground the aircraft means that in 2023, for the first time since its inception in 1997, it will not be part of the Tournament of Roses Parade and will fly low over the 5.5-mile parade route to honor the to open the annual celebration. (Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no parade in 2021.)
Officials had considered making the B-2’s first appearance on New Year’s Day 1997 a surprise, but decided at the last minute to announce that it would be flying over Pasadena.
The grounding for the fleet followed a Dec. 10 incident in which officials said a B-2 Spirit “had an in-flight malfunction during routine operations” and was damaged during an emergency landing on the runway.
No injuries were reported, but the incident is still under investigation.
Air Force officials said B-1B Lancer bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota would “continue the tradition” this year.
“The Pasadena Tournament of Roses is honored that the US Air Force will for once win a flight over the Rose Parade,” a Rose Parade spokesman said in a statement. “We look forward to kicking off 2023 with the 28th Bomb Squadron, the Ellsworth AFB-B-1B Lancer Bomber, and turning the corner into a new year.”
Air Force officials said the stealth bomber will return for the 2024 Rose Parade.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-12-20/no-b-2-stealth-bomber-rose-parade Rose Parade is minus a stealth bomber after B-2s grounded