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Did You See That? Presidential 747 Flies Low

One of the presidential aircrafts tests its operation over Summerville before returning to service.

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.

Will Pellman February 16, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Yes I saw it! I was in the parking lot of the Azalea Square Shopping Center off Main Street in Summerville when the plane banked left and flew paralell to I-26 going east to land at the Charleston Int'l Airport. It's unusual to see a non-military Boeing 747 fly low in this area so I stopped the car to watch it fly over. I knew it was a 747 from the distinctive hump at the front of the fuselage. I tried to see which airline it belonged to but there was no commercial logo. I didn't know it was the presidential plane at the time. I've see Air Force One closeup on other occasions and it's always an impressive sight to see.
Kaye Fox February 17, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I saw it too from my backyard in Summerville...Didn't see Bill Walsh! :)))))

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