...A Misdirection Play...

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Two hours later, the airplane touched down and rolled into a hangar at the 140,000-square-foot maintenance and support complex at Andrews Air Force Base, outside Washington, D.C., where the 747's sister ship awaited. The other 747 was all fueled and catered and ready for the 10 1/2 hour flight to Baghdad. Inside the hangar, the passengers were debarked and reboarded, and a few more journalists arrived, for a total of 13 reporters and photographers. They took off again, in the dark and in secret. At one point during the flight, the pilot of a British Airways jet spotted the plane with its distinctive blue-and-gold livery, and asked over the radio, "Did I just see Air Force One?" After a pause, the president's pilot, Col. Mark Tillman, responded, "Gulfstream five." The British Airways pilot seemed to sense that he was in on a secret, The New York Times reported, and replied simply, "Oh." The plane landed without lights in the darkness, at about 5:30 p.m. local time, with the cabin lights turned off and the shades drawn.