Near the end of the movie, "Air Force One", Harrison Ford is transferred to a C-130, which then changes its call sign to "Air Force One". My question is, has a president of the US ever flown in a C-130 while in office?

  • $\begingroup$ Dunno about AF1, but my recollection is that a crew from Little Rock AFB, the 61st airlift squadron IIRC, did fly a VP somewhere, so in that case you had a C-130 flying with the Air Force 2 callsign. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Jan 27, 2016 at 5:18

2 Answers 2


I was Wing Commander of the 463rd TAW at Dyess AFB in 1992 when we flew President George H. W. Bush from Andrews AFB to Sanford, Maine, in one of our C-130s. We were Air Force One that day.

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    $\begingroup$ Wow! Great to have first-hand knowledge! Welcome to Aviation and please browse the military and us-air-force tags, at least, for more questions you can authoritatively answer. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Sep 14, 2022 at 13:04

As I am sure you are aware, the convention is that any aircraft that has the current US president on board is given the "One" call sign.

For military aircraft, this is the branch of the military followed by "One", which is why you have Air Force One, Marine One, Navy One. If he is on a civilian jet, it is called Executive One.

The actual plane that everyone calls Air Force One is called VC-25, which is the military version of the 747.

There have been many planes that have been called Air Force One, from a King Air B90 to Gulfstream jets and even a combat aircraft like the S3 Viking (which was called Navy One).

However, as far as I know - no president has flown in a C-130 while in office.

Just to close this off, if a president is no longer sitting and is transported; then the callsign changes to SAM (Special Air Mission); so for the "Air Force One" 747, this would be SAM 28000 or SAM 29000 - depending on which of the two is being used.

The classified callsign for Air Force One is Angel.

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    $\begingroup$ So when someone says 'SAM incoming' you never know whether you should deploy flares and take evasive action, or whether it's just a surface-to-air missile. :) $\endgroup$
    – Sanchises
    Jan 27, 2016 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ That's not what they would say, they "Approach, this is Sierra Alpha Mike Two Eight Zero Zero Zero at 7000 for 3000 with Bravo" -- if you ever hear that or similar, look around ;) $\endgroup$ Jan 27, 2016 at 11:26
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    $\begingroup$ Hrm... that call sign isn't so classified anymore, is it? $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Jan 27, 2016 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ Its not called Marine One because its a helicopter, its called Marine One because its the Marines and the passenger is the sitting President; so even if he was in an airplane but it was flown by the Marines, it would also be called Marine One. $\endgroup$ Jan 27, 2016 at 15:34
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    $\begingroup$ And if he flies on something that can't decide whether it wants to be an airplane or a helicopter, it's probably also gonna be called Marine One :-D $\endgroup$ Jan 27, 2016 at 19:45

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