A plane carrying former United States President Donald Trump suffered an engine failure shortly after takeoff from New Orleans on its way to South Florida, where the former president was headed, returning to his Mar-a-Lago estate outside of Miami.
There wasn’t much danger. The plane, a French-built Dassault 900, has three engines, a Dassault signature feature that the company stuck with long after twin jets were the norm even for intercontinental travel. The three engines are mounted in a tight group, one on each side of the rear fuselage and one on the lower part of the tail section. The result is when one engine fails, there is very little asymmetrical thrust, so there is little risk of loss of control, which can be a big issue for twin-engine aircraft, especially ones with propellers. In this case, the jet had two of its three remaining engines and, if it had been necessary, it could easily have continued on the relatively short trip across the Gulf of Mexico.
The plane belongs to an unnamed Republican donor. Trump later boarded another donor’s jet, its type not known, for the trip.
During his 2016 campaign for President, Trump regularly flew in his own Boeing 757, branded Trump Force One, which he had painted in Trump-brand colors and outfitted with a luxury interior. After the emergency landing, apparently Trump’s organization is looking to buy a new plane and was actively seeking donations toward that end. The site talks about “building” a new plane, but that cannot be literally true. One imagines “building” means selecting options and customizations, as he did with his 757.