Thursday, March 28, 2013

Yeager Airport (KCRW), Charleston, West Virginia: Main runway reopened after plane's troubled landing

Courtesy photo 
This photo from Yeager Airport's Facebook page shows the aircraft that landed gear-up on runway 23 this morning. Preparations are underway to remove the aircraft from the runway. 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A small twin-engine airplane landed without its wheels down at Yeager Airport this morning, delaying other flights at the Charleston airport. 

A Kanawha County Metro 911 dispatcher said the airplane landed after 11 a.m., but there was no smoke or fire visible when the plane landed.

Airport officials did not call for any outside assistance, but did ask for an ambulance to treat one patient, the dispatcher said.

Yeager officials said there were two people in the plane. They didn't appear to be injured, but one person asked to go to the hospital.

"It came in as a normal landing," said Brian Belcher, Yeager Airport's marketing director. He said as the plane descended at 11:03 a.m., Yeager marketing coordinator Anthony Gilmer said he didn't see the wheels down.

Belcher looked again and said he saw "dust coming off the ground and props [propellers] hitting the pavement."

Airport Director Rick Atkinson said the plane skidded for 500 or 600 feet before it came to a stop.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane is registered to Air Photographics Inc. of Martinsburg.

Don Siler, vice president of the aerial photography company, also serves as flight operations manager. He was in the company's Martinsburg office this morning, and was told about the incident as soon as the plane landed. No one on board was injured, he said.

"It's just one of those things," he said.

The plane was in the area taking photographs, Siler said.

Three commercial flights were being delayed until the small plane could be removed from the runway. Airport officials said another incoming flight might have to be delayed.

The plane was making a normal approach to the airport when someone on the ground noticed that the plane's landing gear wasn't down, according to airport officials.

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