Due to mechanical problems with her plane, German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew Iberia business class to the G20 Summit in Argentina in December.
It seems, though, that this wasn’t a one-off and the German government is unable to keep their fleet of military executive planes in the air.
On Monday an aircraft servicing company’s van struck the Chancellor’s plane and damaged it. The van was being driven by a woman so overtaken by spotting the aircraft that she “jumped out of the vehicle for a cell phone photo.” She didn’t first apply the parking brake, it “rolled forward and rammed the nose” of the jet.
Instead of flying from Wuppertal, Germany (near Dusseldorf) back to Berlin in 45 minutes she had to take the helicopter for the 330 mile trip.
The Luftwaffe is having so much trouble, it seems, keeping planes in the air that it’s affecting Merkel’s ability to schedule meetings.
Currently, none of the four “Global” jets are available any more, and even one of the big A340 aircraft has been in maintenance for weeks.
… In April, a tire of “Konrad Adenauer” burst at the landing in New York, in February Maas had stuck because of a hydraulic failure on the landing gear of his aircraft temporarily in Mali, West Africa .
Even more dramatic were the technical problems with a “Global5000” in mid-April. When Bundeswehr pilots had picked up the jet from a maintenance facility in Berlin-Schönefeld, they lost control of the plane shortly after take-off and had to make an emergency landing . They missed the runway, skidded across the lawn. The jet was badly damaged.