AWACS Jet Comes To Tulsa For Practice

Monday, June 19th 2017, 5:13 pm
By: News On 6

A U.S. Air Force jet spent the lunch hour on Monday taking advantage of Tulsa International Airport's long runway.

The four-engine AWACS E-3 Sentry performed several touch-and-goes at TIA. AWACS jets, which recently celebrated 40 years of service at Tinker Air Force Base, come to Tulsa frequently so their flight crews can practice takeoffs and landings.

3/24/2017 Related Story: Tinker Celebrates 40 Years Of AWACS

The crews have to perform a minimum number of landings and takeoffs every month in order to "stay current," keeping their skills polished.

Tulsa has a 10,000-foot runway and its airspace is relatively uncrowded, so it's a good place for the crews of the big jets to practice.

On Monday, the wind was blowing to the south, so airplanes were landing to the north, which put the AWACS jet's final approaches right over I-244 and along Memorial Avenue. 

6/26/2016 Related Story: Tulsa International Airport May Be 'Touch-And-Go' Capital Of America

The airplane attracted a small crowd of aviation fans watching it approach right overhead and snapping photos. The converted Boeing 707 is distinctive because of the 30-foot radar dome attached above its rear fuselage. AWACS is an acronym for Airborne Warning And Control System.