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The C-17 mystery is solved

The same C-17 seen vacationing in Park City March 9, photographed at the Boise Airport in May 2022.
Colin Moeser
This C-17 photographed at the Boise Airport in May 2022 is the same one that flew over Park City and the Snyderville Basin March 9.

Remember the mysterious Air Force plane that buzzed Snyderville Basin last week? We figured out who it was.

A spokesperson for the United States Air Force’s 62nd Airlift Wing confirmed that the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III seen above western Summit County last Thursday was theirs.

The 62nd is based out of McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Wash.

Another Air Force spokesperson said McChord’s C-17s as well as F-35A

Lightning IIs from Hill Air Force Base in Ogden both flew to Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. There, airmen from Utah and Washington participated in “an agile combat employment exercise.” The idea is to practice maneuvers for conflict situations.

That would explain the plane’s zigging and zagging.

Courtesy Rick Warner
08-8203 over the Snyderville Basin March 9.

Although it’s unclear exactly how low the plane was, the Air Force’s own guidelines prohibit flying less than 500 feet above civilians. That’s only slightly higher than the 3 Kings lift at Park City Mountain, which has 439 vertical feet.

The C-17’s serial number is 08-8203, and its International Civil Aviation Organization code is AE2FAF.

Plugging the specific identifying information into a flight tracker like ADS-B Exchange will show where in the world it is right now, if it’s in the air.

The most recent records available online show the C-17 heading northwest over Idaho on March 10, probably back home to Tacoma. Hope it enjoyed the visit.

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