PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WKBN) – An aircraft making an emergency return back to the Pittsburgh International Airport reportedly dumped fuel over the city of Jeannette, Pa.
According to the 171st Air Refueling Wing, the military aircraft had an in-flight emergency shortly after take-off at 6:40 a.m. Saturday while conducting a routine training mission.
The aircrew reported smoke in the cockpit, which required an immediate emergency landing.
In accordance with standing flight safety procedures, the crew released fuel to lighten the weight of the aircraft and ensure a safe return.
The plane safely landed at Pittsburgh International Airport.
The aircraft was over Westmorland County at the time of the fuel release. The 171st Air Refueling Wing says they are cooperating with appropriate agencies to ascertain the effects and required follow-on actions to address the fuel release.
“We pride ourselves on being good neighbors to our surrounding communities. We will conduct a thorough investigation to minimize the chances of such an occurrence from happening again,” said Col. Mark Goodwill, commander of the 171st Air Refueling Wing.
It was also confirmed that the crew on board is safe.
According to a post on the Jeannette Fire Department’s Facebook page, the elevation at the time of the dump was high enough to not cause any major issues. There may, however, be an odor in the area.
The post says the kerosene-type odor may be in various sections of the city.