Is Mike Pence OK? His Plane Slipped Off The Runway In New York City
Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence's plane slid off the runway at LaGuardia airport on Thursday, but thankfully, nobody was hurt. Pence was arriving in New York after holding a rally in Fort Dodge, Iowa, when his campaign plane made a rough landing, according to NBC News. The pilot reportedly slammed on the breaks, and Pence said that mud splashed onto the cockpit's window. The plane was subsequently evacuated through the back, and the airport announced shortly thereafter that it would be closed until further notice.
"Governor Pence and everyone on board the plane is fine," a spokesman for the Indiana governor said. "Thankfully, [there was] some great work by the Port Authority and all the airport authorities, the dedicated flight attendants. There were no injuries. The Governor is obviously heading to end the evening and he'll be back out on the campaign trail tomorrow."
The plane's departure from Iowa had been delayed due to weather concerns. After a three-hour flight, it landed in New York shortly before 8:00 p.m. local time, according to WABC, on runway 22L. It was still raining heavily at the time, and according to CNN, the press pool on the plane could feel it fishtailing as it touched down.
"We could feel the plane sliding off the runway," said CNN reporter Elizabeth Landers, who was on the plane. She added that Pence "actually came back and made sure that everybody on the plane was okay" after the plane had landed. The runway sustained damage during the landing, though the plane itself did not.
It's unclear precisely what led to the slippery landing, but the rainy weather may have been the culprit. A former inspector general at the Department of Transportation cited the water on the runway, and likened the situation to a car hydroplaning during a rainy drive.
"When there's a layer of water on [the runway], it is very much like hydroplaning in your car," Mary Shiavo told CNN. "LaGuardia has had this very thing happen before."
The Federal Aviation Administration says it's investigating the incident. There's no word yet on when the airport will reopen.