Monday, March 23, 2009

Breaking News: C-17 Crashes Near Olney Texas

CNN) -- An Air Force C-17 transport plane crashed Monday near Olney, Texas, callers to police there said.

The C-17 is used for airlift of troops and cargo to operating bases.

The Olney Police Department reported that callers said the plane was flying low to the ground, and then crashed.

Olney is about 45 miles south of Wichita Falls and 130 miles west of Dallas.

A spokesman for Sheppard Air Force Base, which is north of Wichita Falls, said he could not confirm the crash.

A rancher in the area said a search was under way.

"All the emergency vehicles and everything are still scouting around here," said Clint Neal, who owns 1,000 acres in southern Archer County, just north of Olney. "There's some spotter planes flying around, but nobody's found anything."

He described his land as thickly wooded, "a lot of thick brush, deep canyons."

The C-17 is a large, military transport aircraft. It measures 174 feet long (53 meters) with a wingspan of 169 feet, 10 inches (51.75 meters).

The aircraft is operated by a crew of three -- pilot, copilot and loadmaster, according to the Air Force.

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