Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference at The Rosen Shingle Creek on February 26, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
A plane carrying former President Donald Trump made an emergency landing last weekend when one of its engines failed over the Gulf of Mexico after talking to GOP donors in New Orleans, a source familiar with the situation told CNBC said.
Trump’s plane, owned by a donor, turned around shortly after takeoff and returned to New Orleans on Saturday night, the person said.
Trump, who had just spoken at a donor-sponsored retreat by the Republican National Committee, was on his way back to his home at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Trump said in his speech that he is strongly considering another run for the White House in 2024.
Politico first reported on Wednesday about the emergency landing.
The source who spoke to CNBC said they could confirm the events as described in a subsequent account of the incident published by The Washington Post.
Politico, citing a source, wrote: “Sound of communication between the pilot and the air traffic control tower revealed that the landing was described as ’emergency in nature’.”
The Post, referring to flight tracking data, said Trump was on board a Dassault Falcon 900 owned by a GOP donor when the engine failed over the Gulf of Mexico. An overview of the plane’s flight path from Flightradar24 showed that it was returning to New Orleans after flying over the Gulf of Mexico.
The newspaper reported that he had traveled with secret service agents, advisers and support staff.
The Post said the plane, which took off from New Orleans Lakefront Airport, had returned to make the emergency landing at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
An air traffic controller told the pilot at an audio recording of the incident heard by CNBC at about 10:37 p.m., “Just a head up … there will be vehicles following you on the runway.”
The pilot replied, “I appreciate it.”
A spokesman for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport told CNBC in an email that the airport “is aware of a plane that has diverted [that airport] “On Saturday, March 5 at about 22:30 after experiencing mechanical problems, and the plane landed safely without any problems.”
The airport “does not have any other specific details about this incident as it involved a private charter operation,” the spokesman said.
A Dassault Falcon 900 landed at Louis Armstrong at 10:38 p.m. local time after a 38-minute flight taking off from New Orleans Lakefront Airport, according to information checked by CNBC at flight attendant FlightAware.
The RNC got another plane for Trump from a donor, and he returned home early Sunday morning, according to both The Post and Politico.
Dassault and Honeywell, which make the engines for Dassault Falcon 900 aircraft, did not immediately comment.