As Barack Obama's inauguration approaches, the news media are paying attention to certain aspects of the presidency, such as the inner workings of the White House, and the president's Secret Service protection. This article in the January National Geographic is one example.
One part of the presidential infrastructure that tends to fascinate those of us who pay close attention to the presidency, even more than the White House itself, is Air Force One. One of my favorite presidential trivia questions involves that subject.
As you may know, "Air Force One" is not the name of an airplane. Rather, it is a radio call sign that the Air Force uses with air traffic control to designate any of its aircraft on which the president is a passenger.
The Air Force maintains two 747 aircraft for presidential use. This page on the Air Force's website gives more details.
When either of those plane flies without the president on board, it is simply called "28000" or "29000", even though it's the same plane that, under other circumstances, is called "Air Force One".
OK, all of that sets up the question: What were the circumstances of the only flight of a plane that was Air Force One when it took off, but was not Air Force One when it landed?