German government plane blocks runway at Berlin airport

By – Associated Press – Tuesday, April 16, 2019

BERLIN (AP) – A rough landing by a plane at one of Berlin’s airports brought flights to a standstill for more than two hours on Tuesday, adding to a long list of embarrassing mishaps for the military-operated fleet.

The , which operates the aircraft, said both wings of the 5000 jet touched the ground as it landed at Schoenefeld airport after turning back because of a malfunction. It said the crew was undergoing medical checks and the cause of the incident was being examined.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that the crew managed “to get the jet on the ground under very difficult circumstances and prevent worse things,” news agency dpa reported. The plane had been at Schoenefeld for maintenance and was headed back to its base in Cologne.

The city’s airport operator tweeted after the incident Tuesday morning that flights headed for Schoenefeld were being diverted because of an “inoperative aircraft on the runway” and check-in was suspended. Flight operations resumed around noon, though the airport warned that there could still be delays.

Schoenefeld is one of two Cold War-era airports that serve the German capital ahead of the long-delayed opening of a new airport, currently scheduled for October next year.

The ’s fleet of 14 aircraft has become increasingly notorious for frequent malfunctions, with a string of embarrassing high-profile mishaps in recent months.

In November, Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived late at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina after a problem with her Airbus A340 forced the plane to turn back. Merkel then took a commercial flight. Other recent mishaps have left the foreign minister stranded in Mali overnight and the president for several hours in Ethiopia.

The is purchasing three new long-haul planes. It has four Global 5000s, fitted out for delegations of up to 13 people.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our before commenting.

 

Click to and View Comments

Click to Hide

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.