One of the Boeing 747s, or VC-25s, assigned to the U.S. Presidential airlift group could be seen flying low over Summerville Tuesday afternoon as the aircraft prepared to return to service.
A reader alerted Patch to the craft when it flew very low over Dorchester Road, near Orangeburg Road, on a northward flight path.
According to the Charleston Air Force Base Public Affairs Office, the aircraft is part of the Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, but has undergone a year of "heavy maintenance" at the base in North Charleston.
The term "Air Force One" is the official air traffic control call sign of any U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. So while the aircraft is part of the elite fleet, it is not called Air Force One until the president is aboard.
Before returning to service, the craft must complete a series of operational maneuvers, including multiple takeoffs and landings. There are no passengers aboard the craft. Public Affairs confirmed the sighting and said the aircraft will continue operations over the next few days.