Air Force: Bird-Watching Bombers

Bird-Watching Bombers

After a B-1B bomber crashed in September on a simulated bombing run over Colorado, killing three of its six crewmen, there were fears that the plane, at a total program cost of $27 billion, could not perform its core mission of low-level attack. Designed to foil enemy radar by sweeping across terrain from as low as 200 feet above ground, the B-1B had crashed, said investigators, after colliding with a flock of large birds.

Last week it was disclosed that the Air Force has suspended low-level testing of the B-1B. The Strategic Air Command has restricted the 72 operational bombers to...