WASHINGTON – Air Force Two, the airplane used to fly the vice president, was struck by a bird as it took off from a New Hampshire airport Tuesday evening, forcing it to return safely to the nearby airport, according to two senior administration officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of the vice president’s travel.

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a man sitting on a boat: Vice President Mike Pence boards Air Force Two after attending a ceremony marking the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) ORG XMIT: NYMA105


© Mary Altaffer, AP
Vice President Mike Pence boards Air Force Two after attending a ceremony marking the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) ORG XMIT: NYMA105

The bird hit one of the engines of the aircraft, which was carrying Vice President Mike Pence and some staff. It then returned to Manchester Airport out of an abundance of caution, an official said. 

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Pence was returning to Washington, D.C., after a campaign event at an airport hangar in Gilford, New Hampshire.

He and staff traveling with him are expected to return to Washington on a military cargo plane. An administration official told the Associated Press that the vice president and his entourage were not in danger. 

This incident is the latest mechanical mishap involving Pence, both while in his official capacity and as the then-Republican nominee for vice president.

A campaign bus carrying Pence in July was involved in an accident in Pennsylvania in what was called a “minor fender bender.” Pence was uninjured and transferred from the bus to a limo.

Pence’s motorcade had side-swiped the front of a dump truck when it was traveling along a sharp curve, a pool reporter traveling with him reported.

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In 2016, Pence’s campaign plane skidded off a rain-soaked runway while landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. 

No one was injured in that incident, the New York Port Authority announced. The agency said more than 40 people were on board when the plane “overshot a LaGuardia Airport runway.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Air Force Two, carrying Vice President Mike Pence, returns to airport after hitting bird on takeoff

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