Engine Malfunction Reported on Prayuth’s Plane

Junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha on Samui island.

BANGKOK — An air force plane carrying junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha was forced to return to Bangkok for an emergency landing Thursday morning due to a reported mechanical problem.

The junta leader, who was scheduled to visit Koh Samui, had to delay his departure by an hour and a half after pilots discovered a malfunction in one of the C-130’s propellers about 45 minutes after takeoff.

Also onboard were tourism minister Weerasak Kowsurat and interior affairs minister Anupong Paochinda.

The delegation changed planes after returning to the airbase in northern Bangkok and departed safely at about 8:30am.

Later in the morning, the government’s official Facebook page broadcast live videos of Gen. Prayuth visiting state agencies and local communities on the island.