On the morning of July 7, 2008, an MD-81 carrying then-senator Barack Obama pitched-up “beyond normal limits” as the plane made its initial climb from Chicago en route to Charlotte, North Carolina.
Today the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced that the probable cause of the incident — which resulted in the diversion of the flight to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport — was the “inadvertent partial inflation of the evacuation slide [see photo above] and subsequent binding of the elevator control cables” inside the tail cone. “Contributing to this incident was the evacuation slide cover failing to be secured to the floor fittings on the walkway.”
Flight #8663 was operated by Midwest Airlines. None of the six crew members, two airline representatives, or 43 passengers were injured.