“Spirit of the Air Force” Crashes, Burns in Afghanistan

Per the USAF, a C-17A “Globemaster III” transport made what appears to be an accidental wheels-up landing last week at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan. The mishap – which is under investigation – apparently shut down the base’s main runway for two days, as crews struggled to remove the ginormous plane.

A photo of the plane after it’s unorthodox landing can be seen here; there looks to be smoke or fire damage to the fuselage aft of the wing. A photo of the plane with its landing-gear down, a few months ago, can be seen right here, and you’ll note that the plane – number 96-0002 – is christened “The Spirit of the Air Force”. Ah, the irony…

There are no serious injuries so far, but if they brought the thing in on its belly because, you know, they simply forgot to put the wheels down, I’m guessing someone’s going to get smacked around a little bit. Not a lot, though; after all, the planes are only around $218 million USD apiece…

This is, by the way, the second time a C-17 SNAFU has blocked a runway at Bagram; the previous mishap was in 2005, when one of the planes “left the runway”, as they say, while landing, and did extensive damage to its undercarriage.

Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on February 4th, 2009| Comments Off on “Spirit of the Air Force” Crashes, Burns in Afghanistan

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