Runways briefly shuttered at Savannah/Hilton Head airport after fighter jet ‘mishap’

Runways briefly shuttered at Savannah/Hilton Head airport after fighter jet ‘mishap’

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The two runways at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport were briefly closed beginning Monday morning due to a “wheel issue” with a fighter jet during an annual military exercise.

Operations on both runways were closed just after 11:30 a.m. Monday, according to airport spokesperson Lori Lynah. The reliever runway reopened around 12:10 p.m., allowing flights to land or take off until the main runway reopened just after 3 p.m., she said.

Two planes heading to the airport at the time of the pause were diverted to Charleston but had since touched down in Savannah, Lynah said. No other flights were affected.

The public affairs office at the Air National Guard 16th Airlift Wing, which operates out of the Savannah airport, said an F-22 Raptor fighter jet “was involved in an aircraft mishap” on the main runway. Personnel were investigating the incident as of Monday afternoon.

The 43,000-pound stealth fighter was taking to the skies for Sentry Savannah 2024, a yearly training event for National Guard Bureau warfighters across the southeast. Savannah’s Air Dominance Center advised the exercises would generate increased jet traffic noise from May 6 to May 18 around the airport and coastal Georgia areas.

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