NEW ORLEANS — No one was hurt after an aircraft part fell off one of two B-52 bombers flying over New Orleans as part of the Air Force Salutes program.
U.S. Air Force Capt. Christopher Sullivan said an access hatch fell off one of the bombers around 10:30 a.m., landing on private property. Sullivan said someone who discovered the panel notified authorities and the Air Force retrieved the part.
Sullivan said the missing panel did not affect the airworthiness of the plane and it returned to the base after performing a flyover above Baton Rouge. A safety investigation will be conducted because of the incident.
PHOTOS: Military flyover honors New Orleans area coronavirus workers
The U.S Air Force and the Louisiana National Guard conducted the special flyover above several medical facilities in the New Orleans area Friday. It was part of the Air Force Salutes program to thank Louisiana's medical professionals battling the coronavirus disease which has claimed nearly 2,000 lives in the state and hospitalized hundreds of others.
Two B-52 Stratofortress bombers and two F-15 fighter jets left from the airbase in Belle Chasse around 9:30 a.m. The pilots were from the Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier Parish.
Sullivan said the Air Force is proud to honor the medical workers in New Orleans and the flights went well overall.
The Air Force said the panel fell from a plane that was built in 1960-61.