Plane carrying Bush’s casket leaves Houston

WASHINGTON (AP) — A military aircraft carrying the remains of former President George H.W. Bush has taken off and is flying from Houston to Washington for official mourning ceremonies, including a state funeral.

Pallbearers carried Bush’s casket from a hearse across the tarmac to a presidential plane commonly known as Air Force One. For the task of transporting Bush’s body on Monday, the plane has been renamed Special Air Mission 41, the number being a reference to Bush’s place in the roster of America’s presidents.

A military band played “Hail to the Chief.” An American flag and one with the presidential seal flew nearby.

Bush’s son former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, were among those relatives and Bush friends who walked to the aircraft shortly after the body was loaded aboard.

George H.W. Bush died Friday in Houston at age 94.