Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conferenceat The Rosen Shingle Creek on February 26, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
A plane carrying former President Donald Trump made an emergency landing last weekend when one of its engines failed over the Gulf of Mexico after he spoke to GOP donors in New Orleans, a source familiar with the situation told CNBC.
Trump’s plane, which is owned by a donor, turned around shortly after taking off and returned to New Orleans on Saturday night, that person said.
Trump, who had just spoken at a donor retreat sponsored by the Republican National Committee, was on the way back to his home at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. In his speech, Trump said he was strongly considering another run for the White House in 2024.
The emergency landing was first reported Wednesday by Politico.
The source who spoke with CNBC said they could confirm the events as described in a subsequent account about the incident published by The Washington Post.
Politico, citing a source, wrote, “Audio of the communications between the pilot and the air traffic control tower revealed that the landing was described as ’emergency in nature.'”
The Post, citing flight tracking data, said Trump was onboard a Dassault Falcon 900 owned by a GOP donor when the engine failed over the Gulf of Mexico. A review of the plane’s flight path from Flightradar24 showed it turning back to New Orleans after flying over the Gulf of Mexico.
The newspaper reported that he was traveling with Secret Service agents, advisors, and support staff.
The Post said the plane, which had taken off from New Orleans Lakefront Airport, returned to make the emergency landing at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
An air traffic controller, on an audio recording of the incident heard by CNBC, told the pilot at around 10:37 p.m. CT, “Just a heads up… there will be vehicles following you down the runway.”
The pilot replied, “I appreciate it.”
A spokeswoman for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport said in an email to CNBC that the airport “is aware of an aircraft that diverted [that airport] on Saturday, March 5 at approximately 10:30 p.m. after experiencing mechanical issues, and the plane landed safely without any issues.”
The airport “does not have any other specific details about this incident as it was involving a private charter operation,” the spokeswoman said.
A Dassault Falcon 900 landed at Louis Armstrong at 10:38 p.m. local time after a 38-minute flight that took off from New Orleans Lakefront Airport, according to information reviewed by CNBC at the flight-tracker FlightAware.
The RNC obtained another plane for Trump from a donor, and he returned home by early Sunday morning, according to both The Post and Politico.
Dassault and Honeywell, which makes the engines for Dassault Falcon 900 planes, didn’t immediately comment.