VIP aircraft ball disrupted by British fog at G7 Summit

U.S. Air Force photo

Between June 11 and 13, 2021, the 47th G7 Summit is taking place in Carbis Bay, Cornwall in the United Kingdom. As governmental aircraft followed one another to transport the leaders of the G7 countries and their invitees in the days that preceded the meeting, the legendary British fog invited itself, disrupting flights.

The VC-25A, callsign Air Force One, of the US President Joe Biden, landed in Royal Air Force Mildenhall in Suffolk, northern England, on June 9, 2021. From there, the president flew to Cornwall using the VH-3D Sea King helicopter, designated as Marine Force One, specially airlifted to the United Kingdom via a C-17 Globemaster III.

This is when things became a bit… hazy. As the fog settled on Carbis Bay, the meteorological conditions were deemed too dangerous for the President’s V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to fly from the Tregenna Castle Hotel where he and the first lady resided to the luxurious Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate that hosts the summit.

The US President was not the only one affected by Cornwall’s “mizzle” (misty drizzle). According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Airbus A330 MRTT, (known as the KC-30 within the Royal Australian Air Force), of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, one of the invitees, was forced to divert to RAF Brize Norton, near Oxford in central England, a mere five-hour drive from Carbis Bay.

Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga also faced complications. However, this time it was not the weather, but an unspecified malfunction that forced the Japanese government’s Boeing 777-300ER (registration number 80-1112) to be grounded. Instead, Suga boarded a replacement aircraft, also a Boeing 777-300ER (registration number 80-1111), and managed to reach the summit on time. 

International summits can prove stressful for the people in charge of the transportation of world leaders. In November 2018, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was unable to attend the opening of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires after her plane was forced to an emergency landing in Cologne, Germany. The German delegation ended up taking a commercial flight to Argentina.


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