US military jet in Shannon emergency landing

US military jet in Shannon emergency landing


The US Air Force Boeing C40 stops on the runway at Shannon after the emergency landing – © Pat Flynn 2014

A US military jet was forced to make an emergency landing at Shannon last night after suffering technical problems while on approach to the airport.

The United States Air Force Boeing C-40, a military variation of the popular Boeing 737 jet, was on approach to the airport when the crew declared an emergency.

The pilot had been in contact with air traffic controllers and had not reported any problems until a short time before they were due to land.

It’s understood that an issue arose with the jet’s flaps while the crew was configuring the aircraft for landing. The crew requested permission to enter a holding pattern to see if they could resolve the issue.

A few minutes later however the crew declared an emergency reporting a ‘flaps asymmetry”. This occurs when the flaps on one wing extend or retract while those on the other wing remain in position. This can be caused by mechanical failure or jamming and can result in control issues for an aircraft.

The pilot confirmed there were 23 persons on board however It wasn’t clear last night whether there were any US Government officials or other dignitaries on board.

Once the alarm was raised authorities at Shannon implemented the airport’s emergency plan an alerted the HSE, Gardaí and local authority fire service.

Airport fire and rescue crews were mobilised and took up positions at predetermined locations along the runway ahead of the jet’s arrival.

A number of ambulances from Limerick and Ennis were also sent to the airport while three units of the local authority fire service from Shannon Town were requested to assist.

Two more units of the fire brigade from Ennis were sent to holding point adjacent to the M18 motorway at Dromoland in case their assistance was needed.

The aircraft touched down without incident at 8.00pm and came to a stop on the runway.

Emergency crews surrounded the aircraft and remained with it until it had parked at the terminal building. After the crew confirmed everything appear alright, emergency services were stood down.

Engineers were investigating the issue last night.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.