RAF Voyager laden with 80 tons of fuel suffers tire blowout takeoff scare: video  

RAF Voyage tire burst blowout

The Royal Air Force (RAF) had released details about the dramatic moments one of its air-to-air refueling aircraft suffered a tire blowout during takeoff at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, United States (US). 

The 204-tonne jet, laden with 80 tons of fuel, was travelling at 160mph an hour when video footage captured the moment the tire burst.  

According to the RAF, the Voyager crew were unaware of what happened and proceeded to takeoff as normal.  

It was only when tire pressure sensors onboard the aircraft alerted the crew that they realized what had happened. 

RAF Voyager aircraft

External cameras attached to the outside of the Voyager were used to assess and determine the extent of the damage.  

The incident happened in the US where the Voyager is supporting British and US fighter jets with an aerial combat exercise called ‘Red Flag’. 

The Voyager flight crew were able to call upon the help of a US Air Force F-16 fighter jet to fly alongside the damaged plane and carry out a visual inspection.  

After assessing the damage and planning how the aircraft could be safely landed, the Voyager crew reduced the amount of fuel it was carrying.  

US Air Force firefighters at Nellis Air Force Base were alerted to cover all eventualities but the Voyager eventually landed safely back at the base and taxied back to its parking spot. 

“This was my first flight in charge of the cabin with passengers onboard. It was a shock to learn that the tire had burst, but my training kicked in and I worked with the pilots and other crew to keep the passengers updated and reassure them,” Corporal Jaz Lawton, Cabin Supervisor, said.  

Overnight RAF engineers worked to replace the tires and the Voyager was ready to continue work the very next day.  

“This has been an eventful day, but it is reassuring to be part of a wider team that operates so effectively under pressure,” the Voyager Captain said.  

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