Plane seen in Bangor on Friday wasn’t Air Force One or Two — not today, at least

Posted Dec. 14, 2012, at 5:18 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 14, 2012, at 9:59 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — If you thought you saw Air Force One or Two in Bangor on Friday afternoon, you didn’t — but only because neither the president nor vice president were onboard.

A Boeing 757 with the familiar blue-and-white paint scheme and “United States of America” painted on the sides performed touch-and-go landings at Bangor International Airport around 3 p.m. Friday, according to Risteen Barr, the airport’s marketing manager.

“We happen to be the site for a lot of training, and it’s not unusual that this type of aircraft to come through here,” Barr said.

Barr said the plane was in Bangor as part of a training flight for a new pilot, who performed a few touch-and-gos before heading back toward their base.

The 757s usually transport the vice president and other U.S. dignitaries. A pair of Boeing 747s based out of Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland typically are used by the president and other high-level U.S. government officials.

BIA’s 11,440-foot runway, proximity to the Maine Air National Guard Base, and quiet air pattern make it a relatively frequent stop for the military jets, airport officials have said.

A plane only becomes Air Force One when the president steps inside, or Air Force Two if the vice president boards without the president. Otherwise, the plane goes by its regular tail number. The two 747s that usually serve as Air Force One are SAM 28000 and SAM 29000. The Air Force operates four 757s outfitted to transport dignitaries, such as the vice president, first lady and Cabinet and Congress members.

In a June visit, the Boeing 747 SAM 29000 touched down in Bangor and taxied around the airport.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the type of aircraft that landed in Bangor. It was a Boeing 757, not 747. It also stated that Andrews Air Force Base is in Virginia. The air base is in Maryland.

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