Foreign Minister Birbach has canceled his trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji for the time being. Because the plane broke down. The Foreign Office has announced that there was a technical glitch after the stopover in Abu Dhabi for refuelling.
Another flight breakdown for Foreign Minister Annalena Berbach: After a refueling stop in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the Greens politician had to cancel her flight for a week-long trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji early on Monday.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said on board: “Due to an engine problem, we have to return to Abu Dhabi for safety reasons. Options for further travel planning are currently being clarified.”
80 tonnes of kerosene spilled
At 4:30 a.m. local time (2:30 a.m. CEST) the engine was still in the air, and Baerbach and his representatives were on board. To land safely in Abu Dhabi, fuel must be discharged first. The Airbus was fueled by 110 tonnes of kerosene for the long haul. The aircraft took off with a maximum weight of 271 tonnes. For landing, it weighed less than 190 tons. To do this, the machine hovered in the ocean for about 80 minutes while kerosene was pumped out at a rate of one ton per minute.
Problems with retracting the landing flaps
The flight captain had previously reported over the plane’s loudspeaker that he was having trouble retracting the landing flaps. Accordingly, one of the two rear landing flaps failed. For this reason, these cannot retract symmetrically, as is actually required. This has increased the use of kerosene. Additionally, cruising altitude or normal cruising speed were not achieved.
Upon landing, the airport fire brigade accompanied the Airbus. The flight captain talked about a normal landing, which is practiced in such a situation in the simulator. He did not request the assistance of the fire brigade. The captain said he had been a pilot for 35 years and had been in aviation for 30 years. There has never been such a mistake in the entire time.
Go to the plane by line?
It needs to be clarified when and how the journey can continue in Abu Dhabi. On the ground, the flight crew first wanted to check whether the on-board equipment could repair the damage or if spare parts were needed. Due to, among other things, legally prescribed rest periods for flight crews, the Green Party politician is not expected to be able to continue flying with the Bundeswehr flight ready during Monday.
With flights scheduled to Australia only on Monday evening, it was thought possible that Baerbock would fly with a small part of his delegation.
Baerbock: Closely connected through shared values
The Green politician left on Sunday for a week-long trip to the Pacific region, where he plans to hold political talks in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
He explained that before he moved to the Pacific, they were very closely linked by shared values and a shared view of the world. Despite the great distance, we can rely on each other and support each other as strategic partners.
On Tuesday, Beerbock plans to attend a ceremony in the Australian capital, Canberra. Returning cultural property to representatives of the Kaurna people. These are four objects from the Grassi Museum in Leipzig, for which a return request was made in 2019 – a wooden sword, a spear, a fishing net and a club.
Tire damage in May
He was stranded until mid-May when his government Airbus suffered a flat tire in Doha, in the desert emirate of Qatar. But other members of the government had to take an unscheduled stay because of a malfunction in an engine already used by the Bundeswehr’s air readiness service.
The engine is an Airbus A340-300. According to information from ARD reporter Georg Schwarte, who was on board, replaced the already damaged aircraft. There were also breakups with her in the past. In November 2018, then-Chancellor Angela Merkel, on her way to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, had to restart the plane, which at the time was operating under the name “Konrad Adenauer”. At that time, the A340 had to land with a full tank as all the electronics failed.
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