Friday, February 03, 2012

Airshow display plane makes emergency landing at St George Municipal Airport(KSGU), Utah.


The Spectrum & Daily News

ST. GEORGE – There were no injuries this afternoon when a vintage civilian aircraft painted as Blue Angel plane made an emergency landing without landing gear at the St. George Municipal Airport.

The runway was foamed prior to landing and fire and ambulance crews were called to the scene. A Life Flight helicopter was placed on standby, but was not needed.

Despite the rough landing, the pilot emerged unscathed.

“They couldn’t have done a better job,” said airport manager Rich Stehmeier, praising the efforts of the pilot and emergency personnel. “That’s the way it’s supposed to work.”

According to Herb Gillen, spokesman for the upcoming Thunder Over Utah air show featuring the Blue Angels, the aircraft involved is not one used in the show. He added the plane, a vintage T-33, was painted to look like a U.S. Navy Blue Angel aircraft, but was not an official Blue Angel plane.

“This is an aircraft that is scheduled to be on static display,” Gillen said. “It won’t fly in the air show.”

Gillen said the pilot was not associated with the Blue Angels.

“He was a private civilian aviator,” Gillen said, adding the plane sustained minimal damage. “He came in, did a belly landing and executed it perfectly.”

Crews are currently working with a crane to remove the aircraft from the runway. Stehmeier said that process shouldn’t take long, adding that significant airport delays would be unlikely.

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