‘Mechanical failure’ caused training bombs to drop on Michigan

A-10A Thunderbolt II jet, also known as the Warthog. © U.S. Air Force
Seven pieces of training ordnance “fell off” a fighter plane during a training flight, landing in a forest in central Michigan. Military officials believe the incident was caused by mechanical problems.

Six training bombs and one training missile ended up in a remote wooded area near Luzerne, Michigan on October 25, after they fell off an Air National Guard airplane flying from Selfridge Air National Guard Base near Detroit to Camp Grayling in the north of the state.

No one was injured in the incident, according to local TV stations WWTV and WPBN.

Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Trumble, director of the Camp Grayling Air Gunnery Range, said a mechanical problem is most likely what caused the accident.

“The phase of the flight they were in was prior to arriving to the range, so the operating procedure for that would be to have all weapon systems saved up, so there wouldn't even be any switches, as it were, that were hot at that point,” Trumble told local media. “That's why we suspect it was most likely mechanical fault.”

Neither the missile nor the bombs contained any explosives, military officials said.

No information was provided on the type of airplane involved, but the Michigan Air National Guard stationed at Selfridge operates A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes as part of the 107th Fighter Squadron.