Joe Biden makes jokes on Boeing, jests, ‘I don’t sit by the door’ Air Force One

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US President Joe Biden revealed he playfully avoided the doors of the presidential plane, manufactured by Boeing, in light of the company’s recent mid-flight mishaps.

President Joe Biden exits Air Force One at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Thursday, March 28, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)(AP)

During a high-dollar campaign fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall, CBS Late Show host Steven Colbert inquired whether Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had tightened the bolts on Air Force One before the president’s trip to New York City.

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The 81-year-old president quipped, “I don’t sit by the door,” acknowledging the recent incidents but quickly adding, “I’m only kidding. I shouldn’t joke about that.”

Air Force One, a highly customized Boeing 747-200B, stands as one of the most recognizable symbols of the presidency.

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A recent string of mishaps muds Boeing’s reputation

Boeing has faced fire since the Jan. 5 mid-flight door blowout on a Boeing 737 Max 9 operated by Alaska Airlines. The incident prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ground all Boeing 737 Max 9 planes for weeks. The National Transportation Safety Board found that bolts were missing from the rear door of the Alaska Airlines jet.

Subsequently, another Boeing plane made an emergency landing in Japan due to a crack in the cockpit window. In late January, a Boeing 757 operated by Delta Airlines lost its front tire while preparing to depart from Atlanta International Airport for Bogota, Colombia. Boeing’s recent string of incidents continues as another 737’s cabin panel slips mid-flight, adding to concerns over safety.

Also, a United Airlines flight en route from Sydney to San Francisco had to reverse course because of a fuel leak. The Boeing 777-300 landed safely back in Sydney with 167 passengers and 16 crew members aboard.

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During a flight to India, a UK passenger noticed pieces of tape on the exterior of a Boeing 787. A United Airlines Boeing 777-300 also suffered a midair fuel leak, leading to an emergency landing on March 11.

Amid these challenges, embattled Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announced his decision to step down at the end of the year.


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