Sparks fly when C-17 has gear-up landing at Kandahar


A C-17 Globemaster had an emergency landing at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan on Sunday.

No one was injured in the landing, U.S. Forces in Afghanistan spokesman Army Col. Sonny Leggett said in a tweet that day, and enemy activity was not involved.

A video posted online Monday, purportedly of the emergency landing, shows the C-17 was forced to land with its nose gear still up. The landing gear doors are open in the video, but the gear itself was apparently unable to lower.

The video, taken from a car driving by the runway, shows the C-17 landing on its rear landing gear and then easing its nose down as it slows to a stop, with sparks streaking from its fuselage.

Pictures of the C-17 on the ground after the emergency landing show the markings of the 62nd and 446th airlift wings at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster made an emergency landing at Kandahar Airfield this morning. No injuries have been reported and the airfield is open only to military traffic. Enemy activity was not involved. The incident is under investigation.

— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) October 18, 2020

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When asked to confirm the video was of an emergency landing at Kandahar this week, the press office for NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan pointed to Leggett’s statement online.

The incident is under investigation, Leggett said.


Stephen Losey covers leadership and personnel issues as the senior reporter for Air Force Times. He comes from an Air Force family, and his investigative reports have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover Air Force operations against the Islamic State.

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