US military jet in emergency landing at Shannon

US military jet in emergency landing at Shannon

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A USAF C-37 pictured at Shannon previously – File Photo

A United States military aircraft was forced to return to Shannon Airport and make an emergency landing just moments after taking off late last night.

The US Air Force C-37B, a military variant of the popular Gulfstream G550 business jet, took off from Shannon at around 11.20pm. The jet, which had arrived from Washington in the US earlier, had stopped at Shannon to refuel on its way to Tel Aviv, Israel.

Within minutes of departure for Tel Aviv, the crew declared an emergency reporting a smell of smoke on board. The crew declared their emergency by radio and by using a dedicated transponder squawk code which alerts aircraft controllers to an urgent situation.

On the ground, airport authorities implemented emergency procedures which involved alerting the airport’s own Fire and Rescue Service as well as the National Ambulance Service and An Garda Síochána.

The jet landed at Shannon about 20 minutes after originally taking off and was pursued along the runway by fire crews. The jet was evacuated once it had come to a safe stop. It’s understood there were seven persons on board.

Fire crews carried out an inspection of the jet to determine whether there was a fire on board. No fire was found however it was confirmed that a heat source was discovered beneath a floor panel on the aircraft and that this emitted a burning odour.

The jet remained on the taxiway for almost two hours before being declared safe and towed clear to a parking area.

The flight was using the callsign SAM-251 at the time. The acronym ‘SAM’ stands of Special Air Mission and is used by US military aircraft carrying members of the US Cabinet, Congress and other high-ranking American and foreign dignitaries.

Airport fire crews were standing when the jet returned – File Photo

Earlier in the day, a US-bound cargo jet turned around over the North Atlantic and diverted to Shannon.

United Parcel Service (UPS) flight UPS-232 was travelling from East Midlands Airport in England to Philadelphia in the US when the crew reported a mechanical problem with the jet’s flight controls.

The Boeing 747-440F jet landed safely at Shannon at around 9.33am. The crew did not declare an emergency.

UPS flight 232 landing at Shannon on Saturday morning.

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