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Bentsen Campaign Plane Grounded With Door Problem

August 26, 1988

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ The jet carrying Democratic vice presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen and his entourage was grounded today after a passenger door was forced closed incorrectly.

The problem, which caused Bentsen to cancel a scheduled trip to Atlanta, was the fourth in a series of mishaps in the last eight days that have plagued campaign airplanes.

The Bentsen aircraft, a Presidential Airways 737, had been boarded by its traveling party of about 60, including the Texas senator, his staff, Secret Service agents and journalists.

A small puncture on the edge of the door and a damaged hinge were discovered before the plane pulled away from the gate. The plane was grounded indefinitely for repairs, and campaign officials began making arrangements to fly directly to Hot Springs, Ark., where Bentsen had been scheduled to travel from Atlanta.

On Saturday, fumes and smoke entered the cabin of a Key Air Boeing 727 as it was landing in Columbus, Ohio, carrying the press corps traveling with Republican presidential candidate George bush.

On Monday, the same plane’s wing flaps did not retract as it was taking off from Chicago. The plane dumped fuel into Lake Michigan and returned to Chicago. The Bush campaign agreed to terminate its contract with Key after reporters refused to use the carrier anymore.

Journalists following Bush had another problem Thursday when their United Airlines Boeing 737-300 was grounded after an engine overheated on takeoff from Houston. The reporters missed Bush’s trip to San Antonio.

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