Sen. Obama's campaign plane experienced problems again Saturday evening. (Photo Credit: AP Photo)
TERRE HAUTE, Indiana (CNN) – For the second time this summer, Barack Obama’s plane had technical issues forcing the senator, his staff, secret service and traveling press corps onto another plane to complete the day’s trip.
In a far less dramatic incident than the first in early July, the press was notified after a press conference Saturday afternoon that the Boeing 757’s public announcement system had broken. Federal Aviation Administration rules forbid planes from flying with passengers onboard if the PA system is down because the crew can’t speak to them.
The campaign scrambled a much smaller ExpressJet Embraer 145 that had to be diverted to Terre Haute to pick up the stranded travelers heading to Chicago. The 757 with Obama’s trademark ‘O’ on its tail followed close behind, passenger-less but carrying everyone’s bags.
On July 7 – with the 757 in the shop for a paint job – the campaign’s loaner MD-80 was forced to land in St. Louis on its way from Chicago to Charlotte because an emergency slide had deployed in the tail cone on takeoff. The plane dipped as if hitting turbulence and the pilots decided to divert because of pitch problems.
It was later revealed that the pilots had told the St. Louis control tower it was an emergency, but minutes later updated their initial report saying the problems had disappeared. The plane landed without incident.