Thursday, October 27, 2016

Plane carrying Mike Pence skids off runway at LaGuardia

A plane carrying Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence skidded off a runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Thursday night, officials and witnesses said.

The Indiana governor is said to be OK. No injuries have been reported.

The plane made a rough impact upon landing and slipped off the runway at around 7:45 after the pilot attempted to slam on the breaks, according to passengers.

“We could feel the plane moving, and it was just not a natural landing that you experience,” recalled CNN reporter Elizabeth Landers, who was on the plane.

Others aboard the campaign jet said Pence immediately got up out of his seat and began checking people for injuries once the aircraft came to a stop.

“The governor stood up and made sure everyone was okay,” tweeted NBC reporter Vaughn Hillyard.

CBS News campaign reporter Alan He said Pence handled the bumpy landing like a pro.

“He was calm. He came back to check on the press,” he told the outlet. “We had no idea we had skidded off the runway until Gov. Pence came to the back of the plane and said we may have done that.”

Pence told reporters that mud had been splashed all over the front windows of the cockpit, making it hard for the pilots to see. He later took to Twitter to update everyone on the situation.

“So thankful everyone on our plane is safe,” he wrote. “Grateful for our first responders & the concern & prayers of so many. Back on the trail tomorrow!”
The plane — a Boeing 737 carrying more than 30 people, including Pence, his family, campaign staffers and members of the press — was coming from Fort Dodge, Iowa at the time of the incident.

Witnesses said it destroyed two tracks of concrete on the runway before finally coming to a screeching halt on a small patch of grass.

Passengers recalled smelling burning rubber upon landing.

“We seemed to be sliding for the distance of the landing and a burning smell became very obvious — like rubber,” Fox News producer Dan Gallo, who was also on board, said in an email to the outlet.

Pence’s running mate, Donald Trump, has reportedly been made aware of the incident.

“Mr. Trump did reach out to Governor Pence and is very glad everyone on board the plane is safe,” Stephanie Grisham, press tour director for the Trump campaign, said in a statement to NBC.

Pence had tweeted earlier in the evening about not being allowed to fly into LaGuardia due to a “ground hold.”

“A ground hold at LaGuardia led to some football on the tarmac in Iowa. #GameOn,” he wrote.

A senior federal official told ABC news that nothing unusual had been reported to air traffic control before the incident regarding either the flight or the plane. Constant rain throughout the day has made for slipper conditions, though.

(Chris Perez - MarketWatch)

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