July 17, 2002 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Two F-16s from Spangdahlem AB assisted a Boeing 747 jumbo jet to a safe landing after it experienced a significant in-flight emergency.
The Polar Air Cargo 747 lost all navigational instruments after takeoff and the pilot could solely rely on a standby attitude indicator and a magnetic compass while flying in cloudy conditions.
Two pilots, Lt. Col. Kevin Booth, 52nd Operations Support Squadron commander, and Lt. Col. Grant Bishop, 52nd Fighter Wing Inspector General flight chief, were asked if they could assist the distressed 747 carrying four crewmembers.
The F-16s made visual contact with the jumbo jet within ten minutes. Booth and Bishop guided the cargo jet pilot through thick, low clouds to clearer skies and a safe landing at Ramstein AB by way of the Rhein River Valley.