Presidential helicopter malfunctions
October 9, 1997
Web posted at: 1:17 a.m. EDT (0517 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) President Clinton was forced to change helicopters late Wednesday evening when Marine One developed mechanical trouble as he returned to Washington from a day of campaigning in New Jersey for its Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
After the president boarded, the helicopter's crew detected a problem as they prepared to depart for the White House from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
The pilot described the malfunction as a "loss of trim,"
White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said, comparing it to the loss of power steering in an automobile.
While the helicopter was still "flyable," the criteria for transporting the president is that the craft must be fully functional. The president was moved to an identical backup helicopter.
President Clinton returned safely to the White House just before midnight, and on schedule.