CLOSE CALL

Obama Campaign Plane Almost Crashed

Did we almost lose Barack Obama? Crisis may have been averted on then-Senator Obama’s plane in 2008, when he was traveling to Charlotte, N.C. on his campaign plane. According to new reports from the National Transportation Safety Board, the plane, which was carrying Obama and 50 other passengers, made an emergency landing almost a full year ago because an evacuation slide inflated inside the plane. The report says the slide incident may have “impinged” on the plane’s elevator cables, which could have affected control of the plane in the cockpit. Obama’s pilot announced over his radio control: “At this time we’d like to declare this an emergency and also have CFR [emergency equipment] standing by in St. Louis.” He added: “Just for informational purposes, we have Sen. Obama on board the aircraft, and his campaign.” When the plane grounded, no anomalies were found, but Obama, who had been scheduled to give a speech on the economy in Charlotte, gave it by phone from St. Louis instead. The report also suggests that a security sweep of the plane revealed that no one had intentionally tampered with the plane’s hardware or systems.