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Thursday 18 September 2014

US military plane diverts to Shannon after emergency

Pat Flynn

Published 24/02/2014 | 16:24

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Irish Coast Guard
Irish Coast Guard

Emergency services including the Irish Coast Guard and RNLI were placed on standby earlier today after a US military plane diverted to Shannon Airport.

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The US Air Force (USAF) Military Airlift Command KC-135 air-to-air refueller was en route from the US to Mildenhall air force base in England when the crew declared an emergency.

The pilot reported problems with one of the jet’s engines as well as control issues. There were 11 crew on board at the time.

As the airport’s emergency plan was put into action, units of the local authority fire brigade from Shannon and Ennis along with HSE ambulances were also mobilised to the incident.

Then Irish Coast Guard and RNLI was on standby to deal with any potential air and sea rescue with the lifeboat at Kilrush being placed on alert.

The flight touched down safely at 12:32pm and was quickly pursued along the runway by a fleet of emergency vehicles which then accompanied the plane to its parking position.

Meanwhile, a man in his 50s is due to appear in court tomorrow charged in connection with an incident on board a flight that was forced to divert to Shannon Airport earlier.

Air Transat flight TSC-711 was flying from Paris to Montreal in Canada and was about an hour into its journey when a passenger is alleged to have become “unruly” on board.

The captain reported that the passenger, a man in his 50s, had been drinking and abusive and requested permission to divert and land at Shannon.

The Airbus A330-200 jet was south of Ireland at the time and routed directly to Shannon where the flight was met by airport police officers and gardaí when it landed at 10.23am.

The man was detained and taken to Shannon garda station where he is expected to be charged tonight and taken to court this morning.

The flight was able to continue it’s journey after the passenger’s baggage had been removed from the aircraft, in accordance with security procedures.

On Sunday, the world’s biggest passenger jet touched down in Shannon with the largest ever number of people to land on Irish soil at one time.

The Air France Airbus A380 Super Jumbo was en route from Los Angeles in the US to Paris when the crew declared a medical emergency and requested permission to divert to the mid west airport.

Emergency personnel were standing by for the aircraft when it landed at 9.11am and a female passenger was taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

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