A Delta Air Lines flight chartered to take press reporters following President Biden’s visit to the G7 summit in England has been delayed by 12-hours because a cicada infestation caused mechanical problems with the Airbus A330 aircraft according to journalists who were stuck on the plane on Tuesday night.
Delta flight DL8874 was due to depart Washington Dulles International Airport at 9 pm on Tuesday night for the short hop across the Atlantic to Newquay airport in the English county of Cornwall where the leaders of the seven largest advanced economies will be meeting later this week.
Instead, the 17-year old long-haul aircraft remained on the ground overnight as engineers worked to fix a mechanical problem. A spokesperson for Delta confirmed in an emailed statement that the issue was caused by cicadas.
Journalists booked as passengers on the flight will now depart on a different plane, although the Delta spokesperson couldn’t say how long it will take to get a new aircraft ready. Flight tracking websites show a new departure time of 8:50 am on Wednesday.
Cicadas or Magicicada cassinii develop for years underground before emerging in broods each year for around five to six weeks. This year, Brood X is expected to be truly massive – on a scale that only takes place once every 17-years.
Thankfully, although incredibly loud and annoying, cicadas aren’t dangerous and are even edible. They could, of course, cause a problem if large numbers got into the working parts of a plane – especially if they left their exoskeletons around.
On Sunday, Vice President Kamala Harris’s flight to Guatemala had to return to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland shortly after takeoff due to a technical problem with the landing gear.
VP Harris didn’t, however, have to wait long for a new Air Force Two to be found and she arrived in Guatemala City by Sunday evening.
Photo Credit: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.