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Maintenance Issue on Obama's Plane Causes Unscheduled Landing

July 7, 2008

The airplane carrying Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has made a safe, unscheduled landing in St. Louis on Monday after a maintenance issue arose en route from Chicago to Charlotte, N.C.

The pilot announced from the cockpit that the plane experienced a problem maintaining the proper pitch, or control over keeping the nose at the proper angle, as it was taking off from Chicago.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown says the plane had a flight control problem.

The pilot has announced, "We have full authority of the aircraft." A mechanic boarded the plane and was planning to inspect the problem on the ground in St. Louis.

The Illinois senator and a small entourage eventually left the plane to wait out the maintenance at a local hotel; the North Carolina trip was postponed until a future date. But the campaign said he would deliver his speech on the nation's economic woes, intended for the Charlotte audience, to his traveling press corps here in Missouri, a battleground state he hopes to win in the fall.

Obama had two fundraisers in Atlanta scheduled for Monday
evening.

Upon takeoff from Chicago, passengers had felt the plane dip briefly, causing a stomach-rolling sensation like being on a roller coaster, but the unexpected movement didn't alarm the frequent fliers on board.

Obama, his staff, the Secret Service entourage and the press sat
on the plane for over an hour as it was being checked out at
Lambert Airport.

During his visit with reporters, Obama shook his head "no"
when asked if he was worried.


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