The modest Mrs Merkel


The flight readiness of the Federal government is not spoiled. The New Aircraft? Much too expensive. Of the Lufthansa discarded machines are good enough. Trump and Putin can just laugh. From Berlin, Sabine Kinkartz.

2015 Russian President Vladimir Putin to put a new government plane. Photos of a Russian TV channel, a show luxurious interior in cream leather, with marquetry decorated wood, gold toilet, lid, and faucets. Everything was unique. An estimated 800 million euros to have cost the 55-Meter long Ilyushin. Overall, Putin has four identical government plane.

US President, Donald Trump has given something New in order. “You will be the best of its kind, the best in the world,” says Trump on the future of the Air Force One is allowed to build Boeing in two identical versions. Officially, for almost four billion dollars. The current President of the machine is non-flyers with the German Government to compare. In the Boeing 747 are rooms on three floors including a presidential Suite with two bedrooms, two galleys, with a capacity for 100 persons, conference rooms, and even a sick Bay with operating theatre, housed.

The Chancellor flies the “Second Hand”

Of German Chancellor, and presidents can only dream of. You are traveling – very modestly – in the aircraft second-Hand. “Konrad Adenauer” und “Theodor Heuss” is the name of the two Airbus 340-300, for long-distance flights are available. Nine and ten years they were in regular service of Lufthansa on the way, before the air force took it over in 2009, buying up and in your so-called white fleet to flight readiness.

The Airbus A340 “Theodor Heuss” the flight readiness

The flight readiness of the Federal government is a military Association of the air force and, like all units of the armed forces the Ministry of defense. Overall, the aircraft includes fleet, in addition to the two A340, a further 14 planes and helicopters, but can only fly routes on Short – and medium -.

Bankruptcies, bad luck and breakdowns

It is old and used but is now synonymous with the vulnerable? Jens Flosdorff, the spokesman of the Federal Ministry of defence, emphasised that the government plane would be waiting “very regularly” and “very carefully”. It is higher security, there were “standards in civilian contexts”. The fact is, however, that the breakdown was on the flight of the Chancellor to the G20 summit to Buenos Aires in the first case, for the “Konrad Adenauer” in this year. Only in mid-October had forced Indonesia mice and rats in the machine cable nibbled and Federal Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, on the return journey by scheduled flight from the meeting of the International monetary Fund.

Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier was in the middle of November in South Africa with the “Konrad Adenauer” on-the-go. There was an hours-long delay, because one of the engines could be started after a lightning strike only by using an external device.

No ground contact is possible

Angela Merkel has now been halted by the failure of the entire communication system in the machine. Your plane was launched in Berlin, and already an hour on the road, as the captain had to find that he couldn’t get in contact with air traffic control. The distribution Box, in the Depths of the aircraft is badly constructed piece of technology, had failed. Although the communications systems, including all the major components in the Cockpit, two are available. However, the automatic switch did not work.

The “Konrad Adenauer” after landing in Cologne/Bonn

By satellite telephone, the captain of the unscheduled landing at the airport Cologne-Bonn. However, it was drained due to the failure of the system, no kerosene, so that the machine had to land almost fully fueled. Danger for life and limb of the passengers had passed, nevertheless, at no time, – said Jens Flosdorff, the spokesman of the Federal Ministry of defense.

Chancellor remains cool

Of a “serious disorder,” said the Chancellor, in the night. Only a few hours after the incident, she was flown from the flight to Madrid and a line boarded there airplane of the Spanish Iberia to Buenos Aires. Theoretically, you could fly in the night with the “Theodor Heuss” to Argentina.

However, the machine in Berlin and would only need to Köln. The and the flight to the G20 summit, however, would have allowed only one Crew is not made, because the “flying and driving”. In other words, the Crew would have to work for long. An additional Crew was not available.

Can and may happen as a glitch in a leading industrial nation? The too late at the G20 summit surfaced Chancellor remains calm. “A single incident should not cause us to change the System,” she said. According to the defense Ministry, there were between June 2016 and June 2018 for a total of 5200 flights, the flight readiness of a failure rate of under two percent. Basically, the radio from the case in civil aviation often, as spokesman Jens Flosdorff. This will but rarely publicly a topic.