How Air Force One Has Taken Off More Times Than It Has Landed

Since 1953, Air Force One is the name that’s been handed out to the plane that carries the President of the United States, and in 1962 the iconic Boeing 707 was created for that very purpose. Today, it’s the Boeing 747 that wears the presidential colors and holds the name Air Force One. Over it’s 70-year history, there’s a quirky statistic that has followed the plane everywhere. It has actually taken off more time than it has landed. How can that be? To explain, we have to go back to 1974, when Richard Nixon was forced to resign because of the Watergate scandal and hand power over to Gerald Ford. When the transfer of power took place, Nixon was already in the air aboard Air Force One. Here’s where it gets tricky. Whatever plane the President is on becomes Air Force One. That means that when Nixon boarded the plane as president, it took off as Air Force One. However, the moment Ford was sworn in as President and Nixon was no longer in charge, Nixon’s plane's call sign changed. That meant that while it took off as Air Force One, it landed as SAM 27000. That’s how Air Force One has taken off more times than it has landed.