Published: Sun, December 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Merkel’s plane makes emergency stop, tech issues reported

Merkel’s plane makes emergency stop, tech issues reported

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Cologne not long after it took off for the G20 summit in Argentina, after it experienced "electronic problems" mid-flight.

Merkel was en route Thursday night on an air force plane, but turned around over the Netherlands after the captain reported a technical problem.

The Airbus A340 government aircraft is named Konrad Adenauer after West Germany's post-war Chancellor.

But a spokesman for the German Air Force said there was no suspicion of any crime, adding: "It's a standard check of the radio equipment that failed".

After 30 minutes on board as firemen inspected the plane, a spokesman told reporters the replacement plane would be unable to fly to Buenos Aires, because the crew had already worked too many hours. News portal Spiegel Online reported the plane suffered a complete failure of its communication system that left the crew without contact with ground control.

The German leader and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz were due to resume their journey early on Friday, flying to Argentina via Madrid, but will arrive after world leaders start their discussions.

No details were given about the technical problem. It made an unscheduled but safe landing at Cologne-Bonn airport.

The German armed forces, which complains of being overstretched and underfunded, has always been dogged by a series of equipment failures that have also grounded fighter jets and kept submarines and tanks out of service.

Its G36 assault rifle became the butt of jokes after reports it had trouble firing straight at high temperatures, and is being phased out.

Video from on board shows several fire engines surrounding the Airbus after it landed.

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