U.S. Air Force Mistakenly Drops Fake Bombs, Still Warns Public Not to Go Near

The BDU-33 training munition is inert, though the U.S. Air Force say it is still not safe to handle.

This week on June 1, during a routine training mission, an A-10C Thunderbolt II fighter jet was hit by a bird in midair. The collision resulted in the jet accidentally dropping three bombs to the ground.

Thankfully, the bombs were BDU-33s, small simulation non-explosive training munitions that do not create an explosion.

Moody Air Force Base, where the training mission was deployed, is still warning the public not to approach any of the bombs.

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Pyrotechnic charge

The collision between the bird and the jet occurred at approximately 1.15 p.m. local time on June 1. No immediate injuries or damage was reported, though the U.S. Air Force is still investigating.

The suspected landing area for the devices is "54 miles southwest of Moody Air Force Base in the general vicinity of 2 kilometers west of Highway 129 near Suwannee Springs," Moody Air Force Base said in a statement.

U.S. Air Force Mistakenly Drops Fake Bombs, Still Warns Public Not to Go Near
Source: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver/Moody Air Force Base

The reason that Moody Air Force Base warned the public to stay away if they spot any of the bombs is that, though they are inert, they are still equipped with a small pyrotechnic charge that could injure anyone handling it.

U.S. Air Force Mistakenly Drops Fake Bombs, Still Warns Public Not to Go Near
An A-10 Thunderbolt II over Afghanistan. Source: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. William Greer/Wikimedia Commons

"Do not approach"

The BDU-33 is a 25-pound training munition used to simulate the M1a-82 500-pound bomb deployed in real combat by A-10 Thunderbolt IIs. It is roughly 22 and a half inches long.

The U.S. Air Force provided the following information in their statement:

"If the training munition is found, do not approach it, take note of the location, leave the area and keep others away. Then, contact the 23d Wing Command Post at (229) 257-3501 or your local authorities. For more information, call 23d Wing Public Affairs at (229) 257-4146."

“The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense visual information does not imply or constitute DOD endorsement.”

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