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Air Force One Pilots Grounded

January 31, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Air Force has grounded the two pilots of Air Force One involved in an incident this week when President Clinton’s plane became mired in the mud at an Illinois airport.

The Air Force pilots are part of the 89th Airlift Wing based at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington.

``It is a standard procedure for an aircraft incident,″ said Master Sgt. Rick Corral, a spokesman for the wing.

Corral said the two pilots, both flight instructors and flight examiners, can expected to be grounded for several days or weeks during the investigation.

The spokesman declined to identify the pilots. He said the wing has ``quite a few″ pilots available, and the grounding should not cause problems.

The incident occurred Wednesday after the president had flown to Urbana, Ill., for several post-State of the Union appearances at the nearby University of Illinois. His plane got stuck in mud as it taxied to a runway for a flight to Wisconsin.

Clinton switched planes and returned home safely later in the day.

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