Mike Pence's Plane Slid Off The Runway At LaGuardia, But Everyone's Okay
A flight carrying the Republican vice presidential nominee ended Thursday night the way we can only hope the home stretch of this election cycle goes: After a rough landing, everyone onboard was ultimately OK. After Mike Pence's plane slid off the runway at LaGuardia Airport in New York, the veep candidate did what the American people can only hope to do after witnessing the most caustic battle for the White House in American history and headed back to check on everyone else. The Indiana governor was uninjured after the scrape, and has even reportedly had the chance to talk with his running mate, Donald Trump, about the minor incident.
"Mr. Trump did reach out to Governor Pence and is very glad everyone on board the plane is safe," the campaign said in a statement, according to NBC News. The 37 passengers and eight crew members on the plane included Pence's wife and daughter, as well as NBC reporter Vaughn Hillyard, who tweeted, "Emergency crew on site. The governor stood up and made sure everyone was okay," soon after the "Make American Great Again" plane slid off the runway at about 7:25 p.m.
Air traffic at LaGuardia has been temporarily suspended as a result, according to the airport's official Twitter feed, and as of 9 p.m. there's no word that it has resumed.
Pence has been campaigning in Iowa before heading to New York with his press pool Thursday, and his chartered 737 had even been delayed before takeoff due to inclement weather. It entered New York on a rainy night.
CNN's Elizabeth Landers was on the plane and described the not-so-smooth landing to her colleague Erin Burnett on OutFront. "We could feel the plane moving, and it was just not a natural landing that you experience," she said.
The plane came to rest near a fence, according to the New York Daily News. Other reports indicate that although Pence saw mud on the windows when he went back to check on the other passengers, the aircraft itself does not appear to have sustained any structural damage.
Former inspector general for the Department of Transportation Maria Schiavo told CNN's Anderson Cooper that the rainy weather likely did prevent the plane from landing the way the pilot surely intended for it to. "When there's a layer of water on [the runway], it is very much like hydroplaning in your car," she said, before adding: "LaGuardia has had this very thing happen before."
Sounds like a deeply unsettling experience, but reporters at the scene said that Pence was speaking with emergency responders as soon as they arrived. And although a fundraiser he had been scheduled to attend was canceled, he soon tweeted that he was "thankful everyone on our plane is safe" after the landing.
So thankful everyone on our plane is safe. Grateful for our first responders & the concern & prayers of so many. Back on the trail tomorrow!— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) October 28, 2016
Just like Pence's landing, 2016 has been a bumpy ride. With a little luck, we'll all make it out OK.