Luftwaffe Airbus A340-313 Carrying Angela Merkel To G20 summit Performs Emergency Landing.
German Air Force A340 called “Konrad Adenauer”, carrying the German delegation to the G20 summit was diverted to Cologne Airport after the “malfunction of several electronic systems”.
The flight, carrying German Chancellor Angela Merkel, departed Berlin-Tegel Airport at 19:26 local time.
Some 23 minutes into the flight, the aircraft descended from FL300 and diverted to Cologne.
The aircraft landed safely about 20:20 hours. Angela Merkel is currently traveling to the G20 summit aboard Iberia flight 6849, an Airbus A330 on a scheduled commercial flight from Madrid to Buenos Aires.
El vuelo oficial de Alemania tuvo un problema técnico.
Angela Merkel va a estar demorada
Fuerza Aérea Alemana 🇩🇪
Matricula 16+01 pic.twitter.com/hzVrmxlAAu
— Juanma Baiutti (@juanmab) November 29, 2018
The German Chancellor and German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz were original aboard the Luftwaffe Airbus A340-300 “16+01” that had to take off as GAF918 from Berlin on Nov. 29 at 19.15LT. However, about an hour into the flight, as the aircraft was overflying the Netherlands, technical problems surfaced, forcing the aircrew to divert and land at Cologne-Bonn airport.
The government’s A340 successfully landed at 21.09LT, after 1h 55m of flight.
According to the CNBC, the airplane captain told passengers he had decided to land after the “malfunction of several electronic systems”, but said there had been no security risk.
Las evidencias 😅 pic.twitter.com/lY2Vd3e5fy
— Agustín Agüero (@AGUSAGUERO20) November 30, 2018
Noteworthy, the aircrew set the transponder to code 7600, that means “radio failure”. The aircraft did not dump too much fuel and the landing was reported as “heavy”. Once on the ground, mechanics inspected its brakes as several fire engines waited nearby. Passengers remained in the airplane for 70 minutes before they were disembarked.
Merkel and her delegation traveled by bus to a hotel in Bonn but were forced to change their plan to reach Buenos Aires: since the government’s other A340 and the A310 were not available, a GAF A319 flew them to Madrid, from where they boarded the Iberia flight that will bring them to Argentina.
German leader Angela Merkel will miss the opening of the G-20 summit in Argentina —She had been scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Trump, President Xi Jinping of China and the Argentinian president. “We do not know yet whether these meetings can possibly be rescheduled for a later time,” a German government spokesman said.
A spokesman for the country’s Defense Ministry said the aircraft, named after former chancellor Konrad Adenauer, experienced a “complete loss of its communication system.”
There is “no evidence of a criminal background in this incident” but a thorough investigation is underway, the spokesman said.