Rare 'Bird' Returns To Tulsa's Skies

Tuesday, October 26th 2010, 2:30 pm
By: News On 6


TULSA, Oklahoma -- Crystal clear skies and a near-empty traffic pattern proved to be a powerful draw for one of the country's rarest airplanes.

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It's a military version of a Boeing 747, officially designated the E-4B Nightwatch. 

It's been almost two years since the plane made a stop in Tulsa. 

12/11/2008  Related story:  A 747 Causes Quite A Stir Over Tulsa

The crews who fly the U.S. Air Force aircraft need to keep their skills sharp, so from time to time they fly to various airports around the country and practice landings and takeoffs, or touch-and-go's, where the plane never comes to a stop on the runway.

Tuesday the crew picked Tulsa.

The aircraft's mission is to keep the leadership of the U.S. safe in the event of a major attack on the country.

If it were flying an actual mission, it would carry the president, secretary of defense and/or the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The U.S. Air Force doesn't discuss any details of the plane or its mission, but we believe all E-4B's are based at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha.