London, Aug 15 : Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's plane was forced to endure an emergency landing after his aircraft suffered mechanical problems over Missouri.
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Authority confirmed that there had been an emergency landing in St Louis last month after the pilot notified air traffic control of problems.
It is understood that the pilot of Obama's plane had warned that he was having problems controlling the pitch of the plane and requested emergency assistance, The Times reported.
A controversy has erupted over the landing. Control tower tapes show the pilot of Barack Obama's campaign plane told air traffic controllers he had an emergency when he made an unscheduled landing in St. Louis last month.
At the time, the Federal Aviation Administration and Midwest Airlines, owner of the MD-80 charter airliner, said there was no emergency.
ABC News reported on Thursday that tower tapes it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show the pilot, who was having trouble controlling the pitch of the plane, told an FAA air traffic controller "at this time we would like to declare an emergency and also have CFR (crash equipment) standing by in St. Louis."
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown did not dispute the network's account, and said news media were told minutes after the incident happened that there had been no emergency because that was the initial information passed to the agency's public affairs staff by air traffic control.
She said no one went back later to confirm the nature of the incident.
The control tower tapes reveal the pilot reported he no longer had 100 percent control, with only "limited pitch authority" of the aircraft, ABC reported.
After the plane landed, Obama read the paper in the front cabin, but ventured briefly to chat with the press at one point.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the incident, said an initial examination of the plane found no evidence of missing parts or tampering, federal investigators said on Thursday.