Monday, January 14, 2008

Taxi prang for Sen. Obama's chartered Gulfstream

Sen. Barack ObamaA chartered Gulfstream II aircraft "touched wings" with a parked Cessna 208 Caravan in the wee hours of the morning on January 12. The Caravan was parked at Chicago's Midway Airport, and the Gulfstream was taxiing to a parking space under its own power at the time of the incident. No one was injured, and only minor damage was recorded.

Were it not for the fact that one of the ten passengers on board happened to be U.S. presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama, no one would have paid much attention to the incident. But, Senator Obama was on board, having just arrived aboard the Gulfstream from a speaking engagement in Las Vegas.

An article about the incident on the Fox News Embedded Producers blog quotes an FAA Spokeswoman who said:
“There was an incident at Midway airport at 2:30am on Saturday morning when a Gulfstream 2 taxiing to park at Midway touched wings with a parked Cessna 208. The left wing of the Gulf hit the right wing of the Cessna, there was nobody on the Cessna and there were no reported injuries on the Gulfstream. The plane, the Gulfstream, was taxiing under its own direction, it was no longer under FAA air traffic control direction. The FAA is investigating, the National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation. These investigations typically take a few months or weeks.”
The preliminary incident report did show up this morning on the FAA website, but we notice that the Gulfstream's registration number is listed as "Unknown." Given who was on board, it's unlikely that the FAA really didn't know the registration number of that aircraft. We'll assume that the omission has something to do with security, rather than with saving the crew of that aircraft from embarrassment.

But do they not have ramp marshallers at Midway at 02:30 in the morning?

[Photo Source]