A plane belonging to the New England Patriots garnered local attention over the weekend when it landed in Shannon Airport.
Based in Boston, the New England Patriots are a professional American football team. Under head coach, Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots enjoyed unprecedented dominance from 2001 to 2019.
The Brady–Belichick era, regarded as one of sports’ greatest dynasties saw the Patriots claim the records for most Super Bowl appearances (9) and wins (6, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers). Other NFL records held by the franchise include the most wins in a ten-year period (126 from 2003–2012), the longest winning streak of regular season and playoff games (21 from October 2003 to October 2004), the most consecutive winning seasons (19 from 2001 to 2019), the most consecutive division titles (11 from 2009 to 2019), and the only undefeated 16-game regular season (2007).
In 2017 the Patriots purchased two Boeing 767-300ERs for use as team planes, this made them the first team in league history to own their own planes. The two jet airliners, N366AA and N39367, were previously operated by American Airlines from 1991 to 2016. The planes are known affectionately as “AirKrafts” after team owner Robert Kraft.
Over the weekend, the NFL’s side aircraft was in Shannon Airport as it landed to collect cargo and return to the United States. Its arrival piqued the interest of locals who speculated on the potential reasons for its presence in Co Clare.