White House reporters’ plane to UK delayed after it is overrun by insects

Reporters travelling to the United Kingdom ahead of President Joe Biden’s first overseas trip were delayed seven hours after their chartered plane was overrun by cicadas.

The Washington, DC, area is among the many parts of the country suffering under the swarm of Brood X, a large emergence of the loud 17-year insects that take to dive-bombing onto moving vehicles and unsuspecting passers-by.

A supermoon gives backdrop to a Brood X cicada (Julio Cortez/AP)
A supermoon gives backdrop to a Brood X cicada (Julio Cortez/AP)

It was not clear how cicadas disrupted the plane mechanics.

Weather and crew rest issues also contributed to the flight delay late on Tuesday.

Ultimately, the plane was swapped for another one, and the flight took off shortly after 4am on Wednesday.

The press plane is arranged with the assistance of the White House and carries press at their expense.

There was not expected to be any impact on news coverage of Mr Biden’s visit.

President Joe Biden pantomimes how he earlier had to brush a cicada off his neck (Patrick Semansky/AP)
President Joe Biden shows how he earlier had to brush a cicada off his neck (Patrick Semansky/AP)

The president himself later had an encounter with one of the insects as he prepared to board Air Force One.

The president brushed a cicada from the back of his neck as he chatted with his Air Force greeter after arriving at Joint Base Andrews.

“Watch out for the cicadas,” Mr Biden then told reporters.

“I just got one.

“It just got me.”