Thursday, February 7, 2013

Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche, N7581Y: Aircraft landed gear up at Essex County Airport (KCDW), Caldwell, New Jersey

FAIRFIELD, NJ - The Essex County Airport was temporarily closed Thursday morning after an incident with a Piper aircraft whose landing gear malfunctioned. The plane was piloted by private pilot Vinicius Pivetta Bouvier of Hillside, NJ who was accompanied by his instructor, Walid Khallaf of Century Air. Pivetta Bouvier was able to land the aircraft by sliding down the runway and Fairfield Police and Fire departments were on hand, ready to assist if necessary.

Fairfield Police Deputy Chief Anthony Manna released a statement:
On February 7, 2013, at approximately 11:08 A.M. the Fairfield Police Department was contacted by operations personnel of the Essex County Airport and advised that a 1964 Piper PA-30 fixed wind, multi-engine airplane was attempting to land when the plane’s landing gear apparently malfunctioned. The plane continued with its landing, sliding down the runway and then coming to a stop. Fairfield police and fire units were immediately dispatched to the scene. 
Preliminary investigation revealed that the plane was being piloted by a student, identified as Vinicius Pivetta Bouvier (25) of Hillside, N.J. Also in the plane was an instructor from Century Air identified as Walid Khallaf. Neither individuals reported being injured. The plane is owned by Sherman Aviation LLC which is based at the airport.  
At press time, the airport remains closed pending the arrival of officials of the Federal Aviation Administration. The Fairfield Fire Department remains at the scene.  Manna commented that the Fire Department was there only as a precaution.

According to their website, Century Air is an FAA Part 141 Approved flight training school, which has been in business since 1975 and is located at the Essex County Airport. Their flight academy offers simulator and aircraft training programs for Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, TBM, and Mooney aircraft and also provide "professional aircraft management and pilot services for personal aircraft owners."

Student pilots at Century Air are trained in Cessna 172’s and advanced training is conducted in a variety of aircraft including the Cessna 172RG, Cirrus, or Piper Twin Comanche.

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