Author Topic: Stillwater Regional Airport sees significant airfield damage  (Read 2593 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

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Stillwater Regional Airport sees significant airfield damage
« on: December 22, 2022, 03:10:08 PM »

STILLWATER, Okla. (KOKH) — Stillwater Regional Airport said its airfield suffered "significant" damage due to an unauthorized military aircraft landing over the weekend.

Airport officials said a U.S. Air Force C17 Globe Master aircraft chartering the U.S. Air Force women's basketball team landed around noon on Sunday.

The team was in the area for a game against Oklahoma State University.
"Charter flights are required to receive permission prior to using the airport to ensure safety equipment, such as the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting services, are in place as well as to make sure the airport can accommodate all needs," Stillwater Regional Airport wrote in a news release. "In this case, this prior approval was neither requested nor granted by airport administration."
According to airport officials, their published runway maximum weight capacity of 310,000 pounds for dual tandem aircraft. The C-17 plane that landed is about 400,000 pounds or about 45 tons over the weight limit.

Airport staff have temporarily patched surface damage to the runway and taxiways but said the sub-surface needs to be assessed for potential long-term damage.

"Because the airfield pavement consists of multiple levels, potential damage can be feet beneath the surface and not be evident at the surface for years," Stillwater Regional Airport said in a news release. "Tools like ground-penetrating radar may need to be deployed to gain a better understanding of what lies beneath the surface."
In October, the U.S. Air Force Baseball Team requested to land at the airport with the same aircraft type and was denied due to weight limits.

Airport officials have been in communication with the U.S. Air Force and have also requested the Federal Aviation Administration open an investigation into the incident.

In the meantime, the airport said it remains safe and operational as the investigation into the incident unfolds.