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US surveillance Boeing OC-135B aircraft makes emergency landing in eastern Russia

By 0 and 0 and 0
28 July 2016


US surveillance Boeing OC-135B aircraft makes emergency landing in eastern Russia. Picture: Alexander Golovko, KP

The military aircraft had taken off after a stopover in Ulan-Ude, in the Republic of Buryatia, when the American crew detected a malfunctioning of the landing gear, said Russian reports. The plane was heading  for Yakutsk but opted to make an emergency landing at Khabarovsk airport. 

'A foreign aircraft made a forced landing in Khabarovsk. All emergency ground services have arrived on site. The flight landed safely at 3 P.M. local time,' said a statement by an airport official.

Earlier, Russian Defense Ministry Nuclear Risk Reduction Centre officials announced that a US Boeing OC-135B aircraft would conduct an observation flight over Russian territory between July 25 and 30.

There was no official comment from the Eastern Military District on the incident, but an army source cited by Komsomolskaya Pravda Khabarovsk suggested the malfunctioning was 'not coincidental', and perhaps related to recent military exercises in the area.

'They were due to go direct from Ulan-Ude  north-northeast to Yakutsk. Just imagine the kind of loop they needed to make to request the landing at approximately the same distance, but to the east?,' said the unnamed source.  

The plane seats up to 35 people, including the cockpit and maintenance crew and 'foreign country representatives' and crew members from the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). 

One vertical and two oblique KS-87E framing cameras are used for low-altitude photography approximately 900 metres above the ground, and one KA-91C panoramic camera, which scans from side to side to provide a wide sweep for each picture used for high-altitude photography at approximately 11,000 metres.

The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in March 1992 and became one of the major confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War. 

It entered into force on January 1, 2002; 34 states are currently party to the treaty, including Russia and most NATO members.

The treaty establishes an unarmed aerial surveillance program whereby signatory states may conduct flights over the entire territory of fellow participants.

Comments (3)

Suspect the reason they went east rather than west was because they were trying to get to Japan and the USAF repair facilities there. Also suspect , they noticed they had a problem but they had a full load of fuel and were not really excited about landing a plane with full fuel onboard and a potential of loosing the gear at touchdown. How do you say "A real crowd pleaser" in russian. Having your plane skipping down the runway with a collapsed gear, trailing fire from the full fuel tanks is impressive if you are a safe distance away, but not all that fun if you are in the plane. The problem got bad enough, and they had burned off more fuel than planned, so they diverted into Khabrosk. My guess, for what it is worth.
Guy Thomas, Baltimore
29/07/2016 06:42
yeah. sure, right.
How did that happen?
bernie, same place,
28/07/2016 18:03
with the bazillion tons of methane being released into the air, the USA is really interested to know what is going on up in the methane cloud. unfortunately, no engine can run on methane.
wait a moment, that includes us.
bernie, usa, missouri, skid row
28/07/2016 18:00

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