Dear US Air Force - please forgive me for writing this story - it is not a story about the Air Force really - it is a story about modern technology and its safety aspects.

Compiled from a recent story in Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine - which was compiled from a USAF accident investigation report - which was compiled from a ?$750 million pile of trash in a pasture in Marion Kentucky.

On February 18, 1998, a USAF B1B bomber out of Dyess AFB in Texas was on a 6 hour training mission. A warning light came on and the crew shut down the #3 engine. As the last step of the Emergency Engine Shutdown procedure, they pushed the #3 engine fire button on the FIRE WARNING EXTINGUISHER PANEL. This in turn promptly shorted out all the printed wire circuit's behind the FIRE WARNING EXTINGUISHER PANEL - and - of course - this shut off the fuel flow to all engines.

The crew had no clue that all the engines were fueless until all the generators stopped turning and all the lights went out. Gray smoke billowed from the FIRE WARNING EXTINGUISHER PANEL and various little warning lights lit up. Solution - turn the fuel pumps back on. Problem - all the fused circuit boards behind the FIRE WARNING EXTINGUISHER PANEL prevented anyone from messing with those silly fuel pumps. Ergo - within 78 seconds of pushing that little ?red button "the uncommanded shutdown of the three engines, in turn, removed all hydraulic and electrical power from the aircraft, rendering the pilots incapable of restarting the engines and controlling the aircraft", said Col David A Shunk.

All 4 crewmembers ejected safely before the bomber became a subterrainean feature of a local hayfield.

All facts here shall be considered to be about 90% correct - I think I captured the jist of the story. Did you all see the Fawlty Towers episode were John Cleese/Basil Fawlty was complaining about the fire extinguisher - "the bleeding thing's not supposed to blow up in your face when you try to use it!

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