U.S. WC-135C nuclear radiation sniffing plane spotted over Europe. En-route to Syria?
During the early hours on Aug. 28, a WC-135C was spotted just to the South of the UK.
The aircraft was being refueled by a KC-135 tanker launched from RAF Mildenhall which met the “Sniffer” maybe out in the Atlantic.
The two WC-135 Constant Phoenix operated by the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron from Offutt Air Force Base, are an atmospheric collections aircraft used to detect the radioactive particles that result from a nuclear detonation.
They were deployed near North Korea in anticipation of Kim Jong Un rocket launches earlier this year.
The WC-135C Constant Phoenix is used to take air samples from possible nuclear explosions. The question is can it do the same for Chemical Weapons?
Someone speculates the aircraft carries sensor even capable to detect chemical substances down wind from the attack area days, or week after they were dispersed.
Another possibility is that the aircraft was either coming or going to monitor Fukushima radioactive leak.
But if it were to be on its way to either Japan or North Korea then it would be expected to route via Hawaii and fly over the Pacific rather than head east over the Atlantic.
Here’s the audio file of the aircraft arranging refueling with its tanker near Malta during its eastbound flight (you can download and hear the whole file on the LiveATC website where we downloaded the raw one).
Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com