Journalists due to accompany Joe Biden on his first overseas trip as president were delayed on their outbound flight to the UK on Tuesday night – because of cicadas.
A swarm of the noisy flying insects – part of the billions-strong Brood X which appears across the United States every 17 years – filled the engines of the White House press plane as it was on the runway at Dulles International Airport, reported The New York Times.
The pilots were forced to turn the aircraft back to the departure gate.
The insects were responsible for the delay, a spokesperson for Delta Air Lines told The Washington Post.
A different plane is now expected to leave early Wednesday morning, when Biden will also depart on Air Force One, reported CNN.
The White House press charter, flying from Dulles to Europe ahead of President Biden, has been delayed for hours – due to mechanical issues caused by cicadas
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) June 9, 2021
Biden will be overseas for eight days.
In England, he’ll attend the G7 summit in St. Ives, Cornwall before visiting the Queen at Windsor Castle.
Biden will later talk with NATO and European Union leaders in Brussels, Belgium, and hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland.