A Pennsylvania Air National Guard refueling plane forced to make an emergency return to Pittsburgh International Airport on Saturday morning dumped fuel over the Jeannette-Penn Township-North Huntingdon and Manor areas, according to the Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety and state Air National Guard.
The KC-135 Stratosphere was forced to turn around shortly after takeoff at 6:40 a.m. from Pittsburgh International Airport, said Senior Master Sgt. Shawn Monk, a spokesman for the National Guard’s 171st Air Refueling Wing. The plane landed safely at the airport, Monk said.
The refueling plane, which Monk described as “basically a flying gas station,” had to dump the fuel to safely land. The nature of the emergency is under investigation, Monk said.
The Air National Guard is investigating the incident, Monk said. The Federal Aviation Administration also is involved in the probe, according to the county public safety department.
A kerosene-type odor was reported by residents reported to the county’s emergency dispatching center about 8 a.m., which prompted the emergency center to dispatch fire departments in those communities, the public safety department said.