US Air Force Boeing KC-46 makes an unusual landing at Le Bourget ahead of the Paris Air Show 2019


On Saturday 15 June 2019, a United States Air Force Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aircraft made an unusual landing at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France.

The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus, a military derivative aircraft based on the popular Boeing 767 passenger aircraft, was landing on runway 21 at Le Bourget near Paris, France ahead of the Paris Air Show 2019, which will begin on Monday 17 June 2019.

An aviation enthusiast filmed the landing of the United States Air Force aircraft. The video footage shows that the aircraft was overshooting the centreline and was still making its final turn to the runway while flying very close to the ground. The flight crew had to make some significant corrections before landing. Even upon touchdown the aircraft was clearly not aligned with the centreline of the runway as the left main landing gear touched down right of the runway centreline.

Bear in mind, this landing was not part of a flying display but was part of the arrival of the aircraft for either a static and/or flying display during the Paris Air Show 2019. A discussion is currently going on on social media between professional airline pilots whether or not the aircraft should have aborted its landing instead of continuing the unstable approach and landing halfway down the runway.

16 June 2019


  1. Clearly not a “by the book” stabilized approach… But also it wasn’t an unsafe one. Plenty of runway available to stop the aircraft

  2. Poor judgment–all the hallmarks of setting up for a potential bad ending. Just because it made it, doesn’t make it smart.
    -Just my opinion, but one from a former USAF Tanker Evaluator Pilot

  3. Armchair quarterbacking at it’s finest Mister “former Tanker evaluator pilot”.
    Those guys were not showing off or exceeding any limitations. They simply flew the plane. Kudos to them for not going around and wasting a couple hundred pounds of Jet A because they might hurt somebody’s feelings.

  4. Circling approaches or offset localizers often produce maneuvering that looks different than the common straight in. Ever land to the south at DCA?

  5. So let’s look at what was wrong here. Major overshoot but did correct, but landed way right of centerline. Also, look at where the aircrafts shadow is. He is past the fixed distance markers and it appears the aircraft is not over the runway yet. Hard to tell where he landed on the runway, but if it was out of the touchdown zone, by definition, he should have gone around. If you are a pilot and you think that not going around just to save a couple hundred pounds of gas is the proper decision, then you are in the wrong line of work.

  6. Don’t worry! Ar Le Bourget Airport due to the proximity of Charles de Gaulle Airport during the procedure you follow runway 27 axe but due to the runway lenght you switch to Runway 21 with is longer at last time…it’s correct way but the crew overshoot a little…

  7. Either miss judged the landing runway, overshot the tight approach or last minute runway change.
    I would have gone around, but it wasn’t a dangerous approach. He forgot to deploy the Reversers too!

  8. This is a standard overhead pattern that all Air Force pilots practice extensively. It is an authorized VFR pattern procedure for all Air Force aircraft and most other military aircraft and a legal maneuver that is recognized by the FAA. Addressing the overshoot and landing right of centerline, that is simply pilot error and not a depiction of the performance of that aircraft which evidently handled it just fine.

  9. USAF isn’t the same force that it was in the 50’s thru 90’s give them a break. They are trying.

  10. KC-46 doesn’t have reversers, AF didn’t buy them. It’s not an off the shelf 767.

  11. “USAF procedures”, “VFR-pattern”, “military aircraft” and “FAA” are of no concern here. It is a French civilian controlled airport where the FAA and the USAF have no jurisdiction.

    Aren’t they refurbished aircraft which Boeing got back when customers acquired new aircraft ?

  12. I have to laugh at all the posters thinking this is normal. That’s this is the very definition of show boating. Nothing about this approach was normal or stable.

    Comparing this to the River Visual into DCA is ridiculous. Yes in that approach you’re turning final at 400′. In this video they are less than 50′ when they overshot the centerline.

    Definitely show boating for the air show.

  13. This crew won’t be going to anymore air shows. Was it safe sure, but with cameras all over the place this didn’t LOOK good…..

  14. Either a hot dog pilot who thought he could show off his American fighter pilot skills or someone who got it badly wrong and perhaps caught out by a veering crosswind/ tailwind.
    Bottom line, should have aborted for a go around. SAFETY FIRST.

  15. As for remarks of Imjustafap, don’t use FAA rules as a justification for doing things badly in Europe. Let’s face it, FAA have not covered themselves in glory recently with 737 Max……

  16. From my perspective there was no reasoning for a landing like that ! The crew should have made a better approach but obviously wanted to showboat their prowess with this big bird. A good landing and all ended good . These guys have to be able to bring a puppy like that in with situations of many variables. And those guys just proved they know this pup as well as anyone. A tough one on the rubber though, glad they don’t have to pay for the pads and shoes.


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