DRAMATIC photos show sparks flying out of Air Force Two’s engine as the plane suffered a massive bird strike while flying Mike Pence from a campaign rally on Tuesday.
The jet was forced to make an emergency landing and return to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport with the Vice President and his staff on board.
The plane struck a bird just after taking off from the airport, forcing the pilot to return to the airport out of caution, the White House said.
Pence was on his way back to Washington from the campaign event in a neighboring airport hangar in Gilford.
A senior administration official who spoke anonymously said the vice president and his crew were not in danger.
Pence was later taken back to Washington on a military cargo plane.
Pence was in New Hampshire for a campaign rally in which he promised Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat would be filled.
“A movement that began in this state has continued, brought our country to all new heights and brought us through challenging times,” Pence said.
“So many of you said yes to Donald Trump in 2016, but I’m here, 42 days from Election Day,” he continued, “because I know New Hampshire’s going to say yes to four more years of President Donald Trump.”
Pence also spoke about the COVID-19 pandemic and the push for a vaccine.
“We’re going to listen very carefully to the incredible research companies that have been working every day to deliver a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine to the American people,” he said.
Pence added: “It really is remarkable that in February, when we received the coding for the first time for this coronavirus, President Trump brought in the pharmacy companies and said, ‘We want new medicines and we want you working on a vaccine.'”
“We cleared red tape out of the way. It’s amazing to think, literally eight months into this pandemic, that we’re on the verge of having a safe and effective vaccine,” the vice president continued.
Pence was in the state as the Trump campaign has been looking to turn the blue state red in November. Trump lost New Hampshire by just 3,000 votes in 2016.
This wasn’t the first time Pence was on a plane that experienced technical difficulties.
His campaign plane slid off the runway at LaGuardia Airport in New York in 2016. Again, he and his staff were not injured.
Also as recently as July, his campaign bus was involved in a minor accident described as a “minor fender bender” in Pennsylvania. Pence was moved to a vice presidential limo and carried onto the campaign stops.