A Varig Brazilian Airlines Md-11 apparently spent the morning in San Diego today. Although I get conflicting information from flight-tracking websites, I'm pretty sure Flight 8838 arrived in Los Angeles from Sao Paulo around midnight, then made the short hop down to San Diego at 1:14AM, arriving around 2AM.
The plane spent about 8.5 hours here in SAN, before taking off for LAX at 10:41AM today (just a few minutes before I started this thread). I myself saw it depart, so I can definitely confirm its existence at SAN.
So, why was this exotic aircraft at SAN? Did it perhaps need maintenance that couldn't be completed at LAX? Was it a charter? Or was SAN's restricted runway being used for crew training? The latter two seem pretty unlikely. Right now, my best theory is that it was simply too crowded at LAX, and the aircraft had to be ferried down to SAN in order to get a parking space.
Any information is greatly appreciated!
P.S.-There were huge delays at SAN this morning due to fog...I could theorize that the GRU-LAX flight was diverted to SAN because of similar conditions at LAX, but each flight-tracking website I went to said that RG 8838 had landed at LAX.