A trip that will bring President Obama to Boston got off to a rocky start this morning.
Air Force One executed a missed approach as it neared its first destination, Bradley International Airport outside Hartford.
White House Spokesman Nick Shapiro said: "AF1 did a go-round at Bradley International Airport this morning because of weather. They circled around and landed safely a few minutes later, at 10:05 a.m.
He added: "The pilot was in the process of landing, but due to weather, the pilot decided to circle around and then landed the plane. This is a standard and safe procedure."
That may be, but the landing phase is among the most vulnerable for an aircraft in flight.
Its pilot must extend flaps that expand the wing to maintain lift at a progressively slower speed. Once the pilot decides that visibility is too poor or conditions unripe for landing, he must apply full power in that flaps-down configuration.
The aircraft then must be "cleaned up" in the proper order: power-up, landing gear-up, speed brakes-off, flaps-raised, all while keeping the nose up. It is a maneuver practiced repeatedly by pilots, especially the Air Force officers flying the president's plane, because it must be executed properly.
The go-around apparently was not noticeable to reporters traveling with the president, including the Globe's Donovan Slack, but was witnessed by other media members waiting on the ground.
"AF1 landed East Granby, CT, Bradley Air National Guard Base at 10:02 am," read a pool report written by Christian Science Monitor reporter Linda Feldmann, who also is traveling with the president. "POTUS descended stairs at 10:14, followed by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano."
Feldmann added: "Obama walked across tarmac to greet well-wishers, including some military members. Like working the rope line at campaign event."
Slack later said via Twitter: "Strange to be on board and not feel anything unusual."
The president then departed by motorcade for a 70-minute trip to New London, Conn., where he was to deliver the commencement address at the US Coast Guard Academy.
Later, he was flying on to Massachusetts for fund-raisers in Boston and Brookline.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.