How to Track the Plane Bringing the US Detainees Back From North Korea
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
On Wednesday, three Americans who had been detained in North Korea were released. President Trump announced on Twitter that the three and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are en route back to the US from North Korea, and are expected to land at Andrews Air Force Base at 2:00am, where he will greet them.
The four, along with a press pool, are en route from North Korea to Andrews (ADW), having completed the first leg of their journey just after 9:30am ET. After leaving an undisclosed location in North Korea, the three former detainees were reportedly seated with medical personnel on a US Air Force plane, curtained off from press on board. The aircraft stopped to refuel at Yokota Air Base (OKO) in Japan. Video shows the Boeing C-32A, the military transport version of the 757, with the UA Air Force 98-0001 tail code landing at OKO.
The Associated Press’ Matt Lee reports that the former detainees are being transported home to the US from OKO on board a different aircraft than Secretary of State Pompeo’s. A Boeing C-40 Clipper, the military version of the 737, with a 01-0041 tail number departed from OKO at around 11:00am ET, likely carrying the three. However, after it had left the airspace over Japan, the aircraft was no longer trackable.
According to PlaneSpotters.net, the C-40 carrying the former detainees is just over 16 years old. It began operation with the US Air Force in 2005.
At about 12:40pm ET, the VC-32A carrying Pompeo departed OKO en route to the US. As of 1:00pm ET, Pompeo’s aircraft had just flown over the eastern coast of Japan at 27,700 feet.
According to PlaneSpotters.net, the C-32A is more than 20 years old. The aircraft was first delivered to the US Air Force in June 1998.
To attempt to track both aircraft, you can use ADS-B Exchange. Unlike some other flight-tracking services, ADS-B Exchange shows military aircraft. Once you access the page, click Global Radar View in the right column, which will bring you to a map-like feature. Then, in the top left corner, click Menu and then Options. Then, click the Filters tab and enable the Military filter. Back on the map, scroll to the Northern Pacific — they are most probably stopping for fuel in Anchorage, Alaska, before heading to Andrews — and you will likely see the planes carrying the three former detainees and Pompeo.
Note that there may be blackout times when one or both aircraft don’t appear on the map, as they may be outside radar coverage. However, they should reappear when over US airspace.
The three, all Korean-American men, were detained for as long as two years. Their release comes in advance of President Trump’s summit with Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and the president reportedly views the release “as a positive gesture of goodwill.” In 2009, former president Bill Clinton flew back from North Korea with two US journalists who had been detained by North Korea and whose release he negotiated. That time, he flew back with the two on a chartered private Boeing 737 BBJ business jet.
Featured image by Wikimedia Commons.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees