White House Aide Quits in Flyover; Gates Sorry

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2009 5:18 PM CDT
Air Force One.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Robert Gates has apologized for the Air Force One photo op debacle over New York last week, the Los Angeles Times reports. “We deeply regret the anxiety and alarm that resulted from this mission,” the defense secretary wrote in a letter posted on the website of John McCain, who has called the flyover an "Air Farce One photo op." Meanwhile, the incident has cost the head of the White House Military Office, who OK'd it, his job, the New York Times reports.

“I am concerned that this highly public and visible mission did not include an appropriate public affairs plan nor adequate review and approval by senior Air Force and DOD officials,” Gates said. Flying the passenger jet, often used as Air Force One, cost between $300,658 and $328,835. The two F-16 fighter escorts cost $28,177.