This was not Obama’s regular campaign plane, which is being overhauled. It was a loaner, having previously been used by Sen. Hillary Clinton. — ABC News 07/08/08
The FAA has launched an investigation.
Someone has a bout of high anxiety tonight. An emergency slide discharged from the plane.
What are the odds?
It is reported that rescue crews were on alert for a crash landing of Obama’s plane. This was a serious incident.
The airplane carrying Barack Obama made a safe, unscheduled and precautionary landing in St. Louis today after a flight control problem arose en route from Chicago to Charlotte, N.C.
The plane experienced a problem maintaining the proper pitch, or control over keeping the nose at the necessary angle, as it was taking off from Chicago, the pilot said.
“I just thought we’d spice things up a little bit today,” Obama said, smiling and joking.
The Illinois senator and a small entourage eventually left the plane and the tarmac to wait out the maintenance at a local hotel; the North Carolina trip was postponed until a future date.
Upon takeoff from Chicago, passengers had felt the plane dip briefly, causing a stomach-rolling sensation as if being in a roller coaster, but the unexpected movement did not cause visible alarm for the frequent fliers on the plane.
About an hour later, reporters among the 44 passengers on board were made aware of the problem. A flight attendant, who was clearing the aisles, told reporters the plane wasn’t heading to North Carolina as planned.
Minutes later, Obama spokeswoman Linda Douglass came to the back of the plane to inform reporters of a “minor little problem with the airplane” and said the plane would make a precautionary landing in St. Louis.
Then, the pilot came on the overhead speaker and provided more details.
“We detected a little bit of controllability issue in terms of our ability to control the aircraft in the pitch, which is the nose up and nose down mode,” announced the pilot, whose name was not released in accordance with Midwest policy.
“Anytime a pilot says something’s not working the way it’s supposed to, then you make sure you tighten your seat belt,” Obama said. “Everything seemed under control. The pilots knew what they were doing.”
Obama’s campaign charter hasn’t made a precautionary landing before.
“This is a first,” he said, and then returned to the front of the plane to confer with staffers. The passengers were told to get into the “brace position” meaning sitting with a pillow on top of their head with the head between their legs.
What was that Hillary said about anything could happen before the convention?