US Air Force accidentally drops dummy bombs on Florida after hitting a bird

Colin Drury

Dummy bombs were accidentally dropped by a US Air Force attack plane during a training run over Florida after a mid-air bird strike.

The A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft, a fearsome low-altitude jet capable of pinpoint destruction, “inadvertently released” the three 25lb mock munitions in the low-tech collision, a spokesperson said in a statement.

It occurred after the jet, assigned to the 23rd Fighter Group, took off from Moody Air Force Base, in Lowndes County, Georgia on Monday afternoon.

The drop happened 54 miles south, just over the border in Florida.

The Air Force estimates that all three of the bombs – which are inert but do contain a small pyrotechnic charge – landed close to the Suwannee Springs area.

Although no injuries or damage was reported, people were urged not to approach the device if they spotted it as the charge could be dangerous if mishandled.

It is by no means birds have caused serious problems for the US military.

Between 1985 and 2016, figures suggest such mid-air strikes have killed 36 American airmen and caused more than £630m in damage.