Change of Planes

A mechanical problem forced a change of charter airplanes. (Photo: Chris Carlson/Associated Press)

CHICAGO – Senator Barack Obama has become accustomed to his spacious cabin on his chartered 757 campaign jet, but on Saturday afternoon he had to readjust to a smaller mode of transportation.

Mr. Obama's campaign plane, which had brought him and his entourage from Newark to Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday morning, suddenly experienced difficulties and could not complete the flight to Chicago. So a 50-seat jet was dispatched from Richmond, Va., to fetch Mr. Obama, his aides, Secret Service agents and his traveling press corps.

Aides said the plane's public address system wasn't working, so federal regulations wouldn't allow the aircraft to fly. It is a different plane from the one that caused an emergency landing this summer in St. Louis.

The temporary plane – with "Express Jet" emblazoned on the side, rather than Mr. Obama's campaign logo – landed without incident at Chicago's Midway Airport. Some members of his campaign team, however, did not make out as well. A few aides who couldn't fit on the aircraft had to drive a rental car back to Chicago.

The luggage? Even the senator's arrived a little later.

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