Somali President Hassan Sheik Mohamud took off aboard the twin-engine airplane that experienced a problem in one engine about 20 minutes after departing from the airport in the capital Mogadishu. The pilot turned the aircraft around and landed back at the airport, a government spokesman told Voice of America.
Fire crews were dispatched to the tarmac to put out an apparent fire in one engine, which was emitting black smoke.
Mohamud had been on his way to South Sudan to participate in that country's independence day celebration. He boarded another plane to make the trip without incident.
The make and model of the grounded aircraft were not reported.