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Engine Problems Force First Lady’s Plane To Return

Mon., Nov. 10, 1997, midnight

A plane flying Hillary Rodham Clinton to Central Asia was forced to dump fuel and return to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on Sunday after experiencing engine problems 10 minutes after takeoff.

No injuries were reported.

Maintenance workers found a frayed wire in the outboard engine on the left wing, said a White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity. A light indicator signaled a problem with the engine shortly after the plane had taken off, said a flight official, who also didn’t want his name used.

A half dozen firetrucks greeted the first lady’s plane and her entourage of aides and reporters when it landed at Andrews at 9:55 p.m.

White House spokesman Barry Toiv said President Clinton was informed of the incident “right away.” Toiv confirmed that the aircraft had mechanical problems, but he had no further details.

“Obviously, he was concerned, but he was assured that the situation was under control,” Toiv said of the president.

White House officials said that if repairs could not be made within a few hours, Hillary Clinton’s flight would be postponed until this afternoon.

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