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When a massive C-17 Globemaster III skidded off of a snowy runway in Afghanistan earlier this year, no one was certain the airplane could be saved. Not only did the accident severely damage the underbelly and landing gear, but it left the runway unusable.
Nine months later, through extreme weather and constant concern for safety, a Boeing crew flew the temporarily repaired C-17 back to Boeing’s Long Beach Depot Center in California for permanent repairs.
“This airplane was rock solid,” said Joel Brown, Boeing C-17 test pilot who ferried the plane back to Long Beach. “All the fixes our team performed held.”
Boeing will begin extensive, permanent repairs to the C-17 that are expected to be completed in 22 months.