We were captivated by an ABC News report last night stating that the emergency landing that Barack Obama's campaign plane made on July 7 in St. Louis was made under much more dire circumstances than was originally revealed. At the time, Midwest Airlines and Barack Obama himself dismissed the short detour as "no emergency." But a look back reveals that it certainly was. The pilot lost control of the plane after an emergency landing ramp inflated in the tail, screwing up the pitch of the aircraft. The pilot then went on to say a bunch of completely terrifying things that you never want to hear come out of the mouth of the person who is steering your giant tube of metal thousands of feet above the ground. (It's like when doctors give you that "What the hell is THIS?" look every once in a while, and you want to say, "Didn't they teach you in med school to have a poker face?")
The St. Louis air-traffic-control tower asked him which runway he wanted to land on, and the pilot replied, "Well, which one is the longest?" Uh-oh. Then he declared an official emergency. After that, he ordered crash-landing equipment to be prepared on the ground. And, finally, when someone asked him how many people were traveling on the plane, he said he had "51 souls onboard."
Yeah, when they start calling you souls, that is never, ever good. Luckily, the problem resolved itself at a lower altitude, and the Obama campaign survived safely to fight another day — to be crash-landed by somebody more appropriately famous, like John McCain or Hillary Clinton.
FAA Tapes Reveal Drama of Obama-Jet Incident [ABC News]