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Plane Carrying UK’s Blair Overshoots Miami Runway December 26, 2006

Posted by notapundit in US News.

MIAMI (AP)–A commercial jet carrying U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair and his family slightly overshot a runway at the Miami International Airport on Tuesday, but the plane wasn’t damaged and no injuries were reported, officials said.

British Airways (BAB) Flight 209 from London ran over a couple airfield lights after landing around 6:15 p.m. (2315 GMT), but didn’t leave the pavement and returned to the gate under its own power, airport spokesman Marc Henderson said.

The plane stopped just past the official end of the runway, said Laura Brown, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman.

Blair was among the 343 passengers on the plane, but no additional information about his trip was available, U.S. Secret Service spokeswoman Kim Bruce said.

A Downing Street official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk about Blair’s travel plans, said the prime minister and his family weren’t hurt in the mishap.

He did not say where the Blair family was going, but Blair and his family have taken vacation in Bermuda before.

The pilot stopped the plane at the end of the runway because he couldn’t see the lights to the taxiway, British Airways spokesman John Lampl said.

“Apparently they’re doing some resurfacing work and relighting, so the lighting was poor. Just to err on the side of caution, the captain decided to stop at the end of the runway and called the tower,” Lampl said.

The plane was then pushed into position to return to the gate under its own power, and was on schedule for its return flight to London with a new crew Tuesday night, he said.

The taxiway lighting met FAA standards, the FAA’s Brown said.

Blair receives Secret Service protection whenever he lands in the U.S., Bruce said.


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