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US Air Force jet forced to turn around and make emergency landing at Shannon on way to Tel Aviv

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A U.S. military plane was forced to return to Shannon Airport and make an emergency landing moments moments after takeoff late last night.

The U.S. Air Force C-37B, a military version of the popular Gulfstream G550 business jet, took off from Shannon at around 11:20 p.m. The plane, which arrived from Washington in the United States earlier, stopped at Shannon to refuel on its way to Tel Aviv, Israel.

Within minutes of leaving for Tel Aviv, the crew declared a state of emergency and reported the smell of smoke on board. The pilot declared and emergency via radio and using a dedicated burn code of a transmitter that warns aircraft controllers of an urgent situation.

On the ground, airport authorities implemented emergency procedures that included alerting the airport’s own fire and rescue service as well as outside agencies, including the National Ambulance Service and An Garda Síochána.

The plane landed in Shannon about 20 minutes after the original takeoff and was chased along the runway by firefighters. The plane evacuated after being safely stopped. Turns out there were seven people on board.

Fire crews conducted an inspection of the aircraft to determine if there was a fire on board. No fire was found but it was confirmed that a heat source was discovered under the floorboard of the plane and that it emits a burning odor.

The plane remained on the taxiway for nearly two hours before being declared safe. When it was confirmed that there was no fire and that the heat under the board had dissipated, the plane was towed out of the taxiway to a parking station.

The flight was using the exclamation mark SAM-251 at the time. The acronym ‘SAM’ represents a special air mission and is used by U.S. Army aircraft carrying members of the U.S. Cabinet, Congress and other American and foreign dignitaries. However it is not clear who flew the incident plane.

Earlier in the day, a cargo plane heading for the United States flew over the North Atlantic and shifted to Shannon.

United Parcel Service (UPS) UPS-232 flew from East Midlands Airport in England to Philadelphia in the US when the crew reported a mechanical problem in the flight control of the aircraft.

The Boeing 747-440F landed safely in Shannon around 9:33 p.m. The team did not declare a state of emergency.

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