Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Military

Tanker jet carrying middle school girls makes emergency landing at MacDill

The 21 passengers from Coleman and McLane all exited safely from the KC-135 Stratotanker.
Concerns about the boom pod on a KC-135 Stratonker, like the one pictured here, prompted an emergency landing at MacDill Air Force Base while the jet was being used as a flying classroom. [Times (2011)]
Concerns about the boom pod on a KC-135 Stratonker, like the one pictured here, prompted an emergency landing at MacDill Air Force Base while the jet was being used as a flying classroom. [Times (2011)]
Published Feb. 13
Updated Feb. 14

TAMPA — A fuel tanker jet serving as a flying classroom made an emergency landing at MacDill Air Force Base Thursday.

The 21 passengers on board the so-called STEAM flight were local middle school students on a flight to promote women in aviation, said Lt. Brandon Hanner, spokesman with the 6th Air Refueling Wing. All of the girls exited the plane safely.

The students were members of coding and robotics clubs at Coleman Middle School and McLane Middle School. As is typical in emergency landings, they were evaluated by a military doctor before leaving the base. Fire and security units also were standing by as the plane landed.

The decision was made to land minutes after the plane took off when the crew noticed “a potential issue” in the boom pod area, according to a post on the MacDill Facebook page at about 12:45 p.m. The boom pod is used for in-flight refueling of other aircraft, the mission of the KC-135s.

The plane had been scheduled to conduct a refueling with the girls on board, Hanner said.

Related: MacDill propels STEAM education with recruitment and community partnership in mind

MacDill conducts STEAM Day once a year for students from Hillsborough County Public Schools to fuel interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and math. This year’s event is scheduled for April 22. Last year, some 2,300 students attended.

In addition, MacDill offers STEAM flights throughout the year. One STEAM flight featured on the MacDill website in March 2018 carried Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from Miami University in Ohio.

The KC-135 that made the emergency landing was undergoing inspection. No future STEAM flights are currently scheduled.

MacDill will reschedule the Thursday flight if the students’ parents and schools want to, Hanner said.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. Suzi Goodhope of Havana, Fla., and Shiraz, an 11-year-old Belgian Malinois, are helping in the search for an African American cemetery forgotten somewhere on the grounds of MacDill Air Force Base. Goodhope trains human-remains detection dogs in Havana, Fla.
  2. Like the rest of Florida, and Tampa in particular, MacDill Air Force Base treated African Americans as second class citizens in its early days during World War II. The history is surfacing again as archaeologists prepare to search for graves that might have been left behind in a black cemetery when the base was developed.
  3. Communication is the goal as a blindfolded Robert Simison, retired Army Sgt. 1st Class, navigates an obstacle course under the direction of fiancee Jamie Boate. The two are taking part in couples therapy for Special Operations Forces families.
  4. New Air Force dress guidelines released Feb. 7, 2020 set standards allowing personnel to wear turbans, hijabs and beards.
  5. Concerns about the boom pod on a KC-135 Stratonker, like the one pictured here, prompted an emergency landing at MacDill Air Force Base while the jet was being used as a flying classroom.
  6. FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2019, file photo, a man waves an Afghan flag during Independence Day celebrations in Kabul, Afghanistan. An Afghan official Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, said multiple U.S. military deaths have been reported in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province after an insider attack by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File)
  7. National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
  8. Sam Flores admires a new statue of his late brother, William Flores, Monday at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector, St. Petersburg. The statue honors William Flores, who helped save fellow crew members on the US Coast Guard vessel Blackthorn when it sank on January 28, 1980. Twenty three crew members died.
  9. Jessica Purcell of St. Petersburg, a captain in the Army Reserve, was pregnant with son Jameson when she was told at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic not to worry about lumps under her arm. She now is diagnosed stage 4 cancer. Jameson is 10 months old.
  10. This undated file photo provided by the FBI shows Mohammed Alshamrani. The United States is preparing to remove more than a dozen Saudi military students from a training program and return them to their home country after an investigation into a deadly shooting by Saudi aviation student Alshamrani at a Florida navy base in December 2019, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.
  11. MacDill Air Force Base now requires all visitors looking to enter the base to show either Department of Defense ID or valid photo ID with a base pass. [Air Force photo]
  12. MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa was briefly on lockdown Friday morning after reports of an armed person near the Tanker Way Gage. The lockdown has been lifted and all gates except the Tanker Way Gate have been lifted.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement