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Cicadas to Biden's Press Plane: You're Not Going Anywhere

Aircraft grounded ahead of president's trip to Europe after insects swarmed the engines
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2021 7:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – Cicadas apparently aren't satisfied flying into people's cars—now they're intent on infiltrating President Biden's press plane. Per CNN, the White House's charter plane for dozens of reporters, set to accompany the president to Europe on his first trip abroad since taking office, was scheduled to take off at 9pm ET Tuesday from the DC-area Dulles International Airport. The flight was delayed, however, for more than five hours after it was discovered that swarms of the "Brood X" pests had decided to become stowaways, flying into the aircraft's engines. The plane "has been delayed for hours—due to mechanical issues caused by cicadas," tweeted AP reporter Jonathan Lemire. "Yes. Cicadas."

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A new plane had to be sent, with the Washington Post reporting the flight didn't take off until at least 2:40am. A Delta spokeswoman verified that cicadas were the cause of the delay. Journalists waited it out at a nearby hotel, where the bar stayed open later to accommodate them and pizza was delivered, per the New York Times. Social media had predictable fun with the news. "Are the cicadas considered to be hijackers and is the FBI negotiating for the release of the plane? What are the demands of the cicadas?" read one post. CNN notes that Biden himself was set to take off for his journey abroad on Wednesday morning, and that Air Force One "presumably has better protection from the East Coast cicada invasion." (Read more cicadas stories.)

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