Science and TechAnimals and Insects


Cicadas Delay Reporters' Flight From D.C. To U.K.

The swarm of Brood X insects disrupted the plane's mechanics.
Posted at 12:01 PM, Jun 09, 2021

Reporters traveling to the United Kingdom for President Joe Biden's first overseas trip were delayed seven hours after their chartered plane was overrun by cicadas.

The Washington, D.C., area is among the many parts of the country that have been swarmed by Brood X cicadas, a large emergence of the loud, 17-year insects that take to dive-bombing moving vehicles and unsuspecting passersby.

Even Biden wasn’t spared. 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 for Wednesday’s flight.

“Watch out for the cicadas,” he then told reporters. “I just got one. It just got me.”

It was unclear how cicadas disrupted the mechanics of the press plane. Weather and crew rest issues also contributed to the flight delay late Tuesday. Ultimately, the plane was swapped for another one, and the flight took off shortly after 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

The press plane is arranged with the assistance of the White House and carries journalists at their expense. There was not expected to be any impact on news coverage of Biden's visit.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.