Why one of the planes used as the Air Force One was over Aurora

If you thought you saw Air Force One flying around Denver today ... you weren't necessarily wrong. But our Noel Brennan is a stickler for the facts.

AURORA - Heads must have been in the clouds today because we sure got a lot of emails and tweets about a familiar-looking plane spotted near Buckley Air Force Base.

People wanted to know if the plane snapped in pictures flying over rooftops and mountainscapes was in fact Air Force One. We wanted to know, too, so we asked Col. Tim Conklin at Buckley Air Force Base.

“Well, unlike what a lot of people in Denver thought, this was not Air Force One,” Col. Conklin said.

Really? But it had the iconic paint job and the American flag on its tail. It had to be Air Force One!

“The aircraft you saw today was the VC-25,” Col. Conklin explained. “It’s a Boeing 747-200. It is the presidential airplane, but the President was not on board.”

So, technically it wasn’t Air Force One because President Trump was not onboard. Got it. But Col. Conklin pointed out it was the same presidential flight crew, and they may have come to Colorado take advantage of a little high-altitude training.

“One of the unique things of being here in Colorado, it’s higher altitude which is a little bit of a different animal when you’re trying to land a big airplane,” Col. Conklin said. “So, they may want to check out some of their new crews landing here at high altitude.”

Air Force One has been to Buckley Air Force Base several times before. Col. Conklin even recalls getting a look inside the plane during one of President Clinton’s visits.

“I got a chance to go in and take a look around. It’s a pretty nice airplane,” he said.

But even the colonel can’t remember seeing the plane at Buckley without the President.

“Just the VC-25 itself – I don’t recall the last time I ever saw one here in Denver,” he said.

It was a rare sight in Aurora, and you probably noticed if you had your head in the clouds.

“It’s always kind of neat to see,” Col. Conklin said. “I know it fires up a lot of our folks here on base and I’m certainly sure a lot of people in Denver were pretty excited to see it as well.”

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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