A huge RAF aircraft which is a familiar sight in Midland skies has made an emergency landing at Birmingham Airport today.

The RAF C-17 Globemaster had taken off from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire but its crew reported that there was smoke in the cabin around 20 minutes into the flight.

It is understood the flight was bound for Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK).

The RAF has said the aircraft experienced a “technical issue” requiring it to land “as soon as practicable”.

It said that the Globemaster had landed safely at Birmingham Airport.

The C-17 Globemaster’s dramatic approach as it came in to land just before 12 noon today (Friday February 12) was captured by Sheldon photographer and air enthusiast Yvonne Lewis

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An RAF C-17 Globemaster coming in to make an emergency landing at Birmingham Airport on February 12. Image: Yvonne Lewis
An RAF C-17 Globemaster coming in to make an emergency landing at Birmingham Airport on February 12. Image: Yvonne Lewis

Emergency vehicles, including the fire brigade, were on alert.

An RAF spokesman said: “A RAF C-17 Globemaster from RAF Brize Norton on a routine training mission suffered a technical issue requiring it to land as soon as practicable, the aircraft completed an uneventful precautionary recovery to Birmingham Airport where the aircraft landed safely.”

Details of the emergency landing were reported widely on social media, including Twitter and Facebook.

One Facebook user said: “ZZ175 is squawking 7700 emergency.”

Social media reports suggested the plane made a successful landing and the aircraft was later stationary on the ground at Birmingham Airport.

One user tweeted: “As I always say when this kind of thing happens is the most important thing is that the crew is safe and well.

“Aircraft has now powered down and is off radar. Situation appears to have come to a close.

“Pleased that the crew is OK and the aircraft landed safely, after rapidly dumping fuel and a rapid decent into Birmingham Airport after squawking 7700 over Shrewsbury.”

The huge RAF C-17 Globemaster aircraft has become a familiar and striking sight in the Midlands.

Increased sightings of the aircraft during the first coronavirus lockdown last spring prompted intense social media speculation that its flights were somehow connected with the pandemic.

But that is not the case and a spokesman for RAF Brize Norton revealed the flights were “routine” for training purposes.

The huge aircraft is normally used for combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions worldwide.

It is capable of transporting up to 100,000 lbs of freight more than 8,334 km while flying at altitudes above 35,000 ft.

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