The Slatest

Biden’s Press Plane Gets Grounded Due to an Engine Full of Cicadas

A cicada in flight.
Comin’ atcha! Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Up and down the east coast, cicadas are everywhere these days: on trees, fences, mail boxes, your clothes, you name it. The cicada invasion amounts, mostly, to an annoyance, that is, until you find out cicadas have flooded the engine of the airplane you’re about to board. On Tuesday evening, that’s the news the presidential press corps received just before the scheduled departure of the chartered flight full of journalists set to accompany President Joe Biden on his trip to Europe. The plane’s engine had been flooded with the insects, so many that it wasn’t safe to fly.

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“The White House press charter, flying from Dulle­s to Europe ahead of President Biden, has been delayed for hours—due to mechanical issues caused by cicadas,” Associated Press journalist Jonathan Lemire tweeted late Tuesday. “Yes. Cicadas.” The swarm of the insects which, as you probably already know, join us by the kajillion every 17 years for the summer ultimately grounded the flight for hours, pushing the departure from 9 p.m. Tuesday night until past 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.

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Having your flight delayed by a cicada infestation is a bummer, but it’s better than being this guy!

Stay safe out there people.

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