LaHood says aborted landing of first lady's plane under investigation
April 20th, 2011
11:34 AM ET
3 years ago

LaHood says aborted landing of first lady's plane under investigation

Washington (CNN) – An aborted landing by a plane carrying Michelle Obama because it was too close to a military plane ahead of it was a "serious incident," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday.

LaHood confirmed that the Federal Aviation Administration was investigating the incident Monday at Andrews Air Force Base.

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Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. BeanerECMO

    Yes, 3 miles is within the mandated 5 miles separation. However, both aircraft were on approach to landing (lower airspeed), the wingtip vortices are greatly reduced by the winglets on the C-17, and the wingtip vortices are also 'dropping' to the ground and at a higher rate than if they were at altitude (at higher air speeds). Consequently, the explanation given by the FAA is a CYA and treats the general public as ignorant. They weren't in any danger; they just don't like to land aircraft so close together – a minute apart is more than enough.

    April 20, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Not good.

    April 20, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. FM

    This was totally negligence. How come people survive in the air and should be worried to die on the ground??? Fire them all!! They are good for nothing.

    April 20, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    They weren't in any danger; they just don't like to land aircraft so close together – a minute apart is more than enough.
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    I agree... But it makes for a great news story to distract people from all the other more news worthy items. I guess the news mediais now piling on the air traffic controlers.

    April 20, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. sammieb51

    They should investigate whether the ATC is a Republican, if he's ever sent any trash e-mails on the Obamas, if he posts anything on FB or other social medias berating them .... and if the answer is yes to any of hte above, they should be fired and charges brought against them. Imagine if you will, for a minute, that Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, or Laura Bush were on the plane as 1st lady and this happened? For a job that pays $160K a year including benefits, we can't get better than this in the job? Give me a break!

    April 20, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    People, this event was not good. Don't twist this into an ideological rant. That goes for both sides. I have seen how this works, first hand, time and time again as Bill and Hillary came and went from their NY house they purchased in the late '90s.

    NOTHING takes off or lands when the plane is process of landing. The air traffic was always cleared for miles around. We do not want a plane load of undesireables on the tarmac as Air Force One lands. That's just how it is. The SOPs are not quite as stringent for the spouse, just every bit as tight. The air space is supposed to be cleared. Period.

    Someone mentioned that the statement regarding spacing was smoke. It was, but not for the reason that was cited. Just last summer I was in Chicago preparing to leave Midway, on a beautiful clear day. No flight delays. Suddenly, our flight and seemingly everything else was delayed 45 minutes or more. I noticed all traffic had stopped, as I had nothing better to do while waiting than watch planes take off and land.

    Then I noticed that activity had stopped. No planes were moving on taxiways. No luggage vehicles were moving. Nothing. Nothing was moving anywhere. It was odd. After some 20 minutes of this, Air Force One dropped out of the sky and landed. Michelle and the kids were preparing to go on a vacation to somewhere, I forget. Barry wasn't going. They were picking up family and friends.

    After the plane landed. No activity was maintained. Nothing. Nothing moved anywhere. The plane took off and was gone. Nothing moved anywhere. Nothing It took another 15-20 minutes before activity resumed, which means that her plane had left the airspace and could make emergency landings elsewhere.

    In other words, for a military cargo plane to be that close to the First Lady's plane is a security breach of the highest magnitude.

    April 20, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    They should investigate whether the ATC is a Republican, if he's ever sent any trash e-mails on the Obamas, if he posts anything on FB or other social medias berating them .... and if the answer is yes to any of hte above, they should be fired and charges brought against them.
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    Sounds like you think you live in the Soviet Union!

    April 20, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    there are some comments on sound off that are down right racists. People just can't get over the fact that the old man and the screeding hag were NOT wanted by most of us.
    This is the First Lady of the United States and Dr. Biden. Get over the hate. Stop listening to limberger and the birthers!

    April 20, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |