PORTSMOUTH — A KC-46A Pegasus military tanker carrying New Hampshire congressional delegation staff members was forced to divert to New Jersey on Tuesday due to an in-flight emergency, according to local military officials.
Stationed at Pease Air National Guard Base, the 157th Air Refueling Wing announced late Tuesday that an orientation flight of two KC-46A jets was carrying 16 people from the offices of Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas when the emergency occurred.
The KC-46A jets, based off the Boeing 767 commercial airliner, are military refueling tankers.
In the air, one of the tankers experienced a problem with the refueling boom hoist cable, causing the jet to safely land but with the boom extended, according to the 157th. The aircraft diverted to Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst.
“Emergency services from the 305th Air Mobility Wing responded and safely secured the scene, with no fire or injuries to crew or passengers,” the press release states.
The other KC-46A jet safely diverted to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, while a third Pease-based KC-46A tanker that was flying from Florida traveled to Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst to transport the congressional staffers back to Pease.
Pease Air National Guard Base was the first wing in the country to have its full fleet of KC-46A tankers, jets designed to replace the former Eisenhower-era KC-135 military tankers. The last of the wing’s dozen tankers arrived at Pease in February 2021.
Boeing began developing the tankers for the Air Force in February 2011. The tanker model took its first initial flight in December 2014.
The first Pegasus was delivered by Boeing to McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas in January 2019. The first Pegasus tankers arrived at Pease two months afterward.
The 157th Air Refueling Wing reported in 2021 that the KC-46A tankers can each hold 212,299 pounds of fuel for refueling missions, in addition to a cargo load upwards of 65,000 pounds.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: KC-46A tanker with NH congressional staff lands safely after emergency