President Obama brought along a second, smaller Air Force One for his family to enjoy a day of sightseeing in Argentina on Thursday.
After dancing the tango at a state dinner in Buenos Aires Wednesday night, the president and first lady Michelle Obama took their daughters aboard the government plane colloquially known as “baby” Air Force One Thursday to fly to the scenic town of Bariloche in southern Argentina. It’s a Boeing 757 used when traveling to places where the runway is too short for the primary Air Force One.
The larger Air Force One, a 747-200, was parked alongside the smaller plane at the airport in Buenos Aires, according to pool reporters traveling with the president. It costs about $206,000 per hour to fly the larger plane, which the president is expected to use for the 10-plus-hour flight back to Washington late Thursday night.
It’s common for the government to have a backup plane available when the president travels, although not often for a family sightseeing excursion.
Bariloche is a lakeside resort town nestled in the foothills of the Andes mountains, famous for its chocolates and Swiss-style architecture.
Bariloche is also well-known for having served as a sort of haven for Nazis on the run after World War II. Several top former Nazis, including Dr. Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death” from the Auschwitz death camp, are believed to have sought refuge there in the decades after the war.
In 1994, an ABC News team tracked down Erich Priebke, a former Nazi SS captain, in Bariloche, where he had been living since 1949. Upon his exposure on television, he was eventually extradited to Italy and convicted of the massacre of 330 civilians near Rome in 1944. He was sentenced to prison.