MacDill plane with middle school students on board forced to make emergency landing during refueling trip

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A KC-135 aircraft with a group of middle school students on board was forced to make an emergency landing on Tuesday after taking off from MacDill Air Force Base.

The plane left MacDill Thursday morning for a refueling trip. According to MacDill, the flight lead made the decision to cut the flight short and make an emergency landing.

“The crew noticed a potential issue in the boom pod area,” base officials said in a Facebook post.

Everyone on the plane exited safely after landing back at MacDill. They were checked by flight doctors before being released.

In addition to the flight crew, students from McLane Middle School in Brandon were also on the plane at the time. According to MacDill, it’s part of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) program.

The air force base’s website says several “flying classrooms” – or a flight on a local training mission that students are allowed on – happen each year.

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