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Angela Merkel hit by plane trouble on way to G20

Air force colonel Guido Henrich said the problem was caused by the failure of an electrical distributor box.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves the government plane which was grounded after a technical failure at the airport in Cologne (Jeers Blank/dpa via AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves the government plane which was grounded after a technical failure at the airport in Cologne (Jeers Blank/dpa via AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves the government plane which was grounded after a technical failure at the airport in Cologne (Jeers Blank/dpa via AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is finally on her way to Argentina for the G20 summit after a technical problem with her plane forced her to change plans and stay overnight in Bonn.

Mrs Merkel’s office said she and a small delegation, including the finance minister, took a different government plane to Madrid on Friday morning, and then boarded a commercial flight to Buenos Aires.

The chancellor was en route on Thursday night on an air force Airbus A340, but turned around over the Netherlands after the captain reported a technical problem.

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Angela Merkel (Michael Sohn/AP)

Angela Merkel (Michael Sohn/AP)

AP

Angela Merkel (Michael Sohn/AP)

The plane was diverted to the Cologne/Bonn airport and landed without incident.

Air force colonel Guido Henrich said the problem was caused by the failure of an electrical distributor box, which affected the radio system and also a fuel system, meaning that the plane could not dump fuel.

The part was replaced and the plane is now functional again, he said.

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The plane landed at Cologne-Bonn with most of the fuel for its planned transatlantic flight on board, making it heavier than normal and causing one brake to overheat slightly as it came to a stop on the runway, Col Henrich said.

He stressed, however, that there was no danger to the people on board.

The plane was able to communicate by satellite despite the problem with its radio system.

The air force was sending a similar plane from Cologne-Bonn, where the government’s fleet is based, to Buenos Aires on Friday to pick up Mrs Merkel after the G20 summit.


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