CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An aircraft based at the McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston is safe after experiencing an in-flight fuel leak.

In a release from the West Virginia National Guard, they said a C-130J-30 Super Hercules from the 130th Airlift Wing was in the middle of a routine training flight session when it had a leak mid-flight on Wednesday, March 13.

An in-flight emergency was declared for the leak and the aircraft returned safely to Yeager International Airport in Charleston without incident.

“The safety of the aircrew and aircraft we fly is always of paramount importance and at the forefront of everything we do,” said Col. Bryan W. Preece, commander of the 130th Airlift Wing. “Our aviators and crews are among the best trained and professional Airmen in the world, as are our maintenance personnel who work to maintain our world-class aircraft.”

The cause of the fuel leak is now under investigation. The Guard said the incident is not affecting any current or scheduled flight operations.

The C-130J-30 Super Hercules model is a more advanced model used by the 130th. They have been transitioning away from the C-130 H3 Hercules model since 2021. There are currently more than 450 Super Hercules operational worldwide.

The unit currently operates eight C-130J-30 aircraft which are each valued at approximately $90 million. As of January 1, 2024, the unit has been declared a C-130J-30 unit with Initial Operational Capability.