A US Air Force Boeing KC-135R issued an emergency signal over the village of Briston, and has now returned to the military airfield in Norfolk.
A nearby RAF centre reportedly had all its traffic stopped to accommodate the plane’s landing – but the plane was then stuck as the pilot didn’t “have nose steering”.
RAF Mildenhall was said to have fire engines lining the runway to prepare.
The massive military tanker was just under 6000ft in the air when the signal was sent out.
Designated Quid 31, the plane is now on the ground “safe and sound” and has been towed away.
A witness to the scene has stated that the plane didn’t have all the necessary green lights on its undercarriage.
@TonyRome51 tweeted: “All road traffic stopped at RAF Mildenhall with fire engines lining the runway.
“Quid 31 on the ground safe & sound, didn’t have all green lights for his undercarriage.
“Runway closed as he doesn’t have nose wheel steering so he’s stuck.”
This type of plane was used extensively in the Vietnam War and the Gulf War to refuel other military jets.
During nine years of the Vietnam conflict, KC-135s made 813,000 aerial refuelings of combat aircraft.
The tankers also made 18,700 hookups and transferred 278 million pounds (126 million kilograms) of fuel during the Persian Gulf War.