An overheated engine oil warning caused a helicopter with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner on board to make an unscheduled landing five minutes after taking off last week, according to law enforcement sources and the company that built the aircraft.
“The pilots noticed an engine oil high temperature condition and elected to land,” Melissa Chadwick, a spokeswoman with Lockheed Martin, the parent company of the aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky, told CNN.
President Donald Trump’s daughter, his son-in-law and their security detail were flying from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to a New York heliport on Thursday afternoon in the twin engine Sikorsky S-76B when the mechanical problem occurred.
The private helicopter, identified as N76DT, is owned by the Trump Organization and is one of the most visible symbols of the company, even featured in the opening credits of the TV show “The Apprentice.”
The flight lasted only about five minutes before the helicopter returned to the airport.
“You’re back inbound to the field?” the Federal Aviation Administration controller can be heard asking on recordings captured by the aviation website LiveATC.net.
“That’s affirmative,” the pilot responds.
Chadwick said the helicopter did not declare an emergency and completed the routine, yet unexpected, landing.
After it landed, the control tower radioed to make sure everything was OK.
“Just confirming you are safely on the ground there,” the controller asks.
Shortly after returning to the airport, the couple boarded a Delta Air Lines commercial flight to New York.
Two law enforcement sources described the helicopter problem as an “engine failure” of one engine. However, the manufacturer says the engine didn’t fail but rather was shifted to idle by the pilot after the high oil temperature indicator was noted.
“If the temperature stabilizes at or below a designated level, the pilot has the option of returning the engine to the fly position for continued flight or landing, as needed,” Chadwick said.
Private aircraft flying from Washington’s Reagan National Airport have been severely limited since 2001, but some flights are allowed if they meet specific requirements, including security checks and having an armed guard on board.
Chadwick said Sikorsky worked with the Trump Organization to fix the problem with this aircraft, and the helicopter is now back in service.
CLARIFICATION: The first paragraph of this story has been updated to clarify the sources of the information.