Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cessna 560XL, N510FS: Middle Georgia Regional Airport (KMCN), Macon, Georgia

The day after a crash landing injured nearly a dozen people in New York, Macon-Bibb County firefighters were on alert for an emergency landing at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

About 40 minutes after takeoff from Southwest Georgia Regional Airport in Albany, a pilot radioed in that he was having problems with the landing gear sensor and was not sure whether the gear was fully extended.

Five people on board the Cessna 560XL were on the way to Florence, S.C., when the plane circled the Macon airport.

Fire Lt. Lance Trice said crews on the ground could see the landing gear was extended and the pilot decided to make his approach in the fixed wing jet based in Macon.

“They wanted to get us out there just in case there was an accident,” Trice said.

With air rescue trucks in position near the runway, the pilot decided to land, and did so safely shortly after noon.

Macon-Bibb’s Air Rescue 1 and other fire trucks followed the plane after landing, which is standard procedure in case something happens.

“Everything turned out okay,” Trice said. “They’re actually going to have a mechanic check things out per FAA rules before they can get clearance to fly.”

Lowe Aviation’s Henry Lowe said the pilot had access to another plane at the airport and took off in it shortly before 1 p.m. and headed to Florence.

“The landing gear was working, it might have been just a light bulb or something,” Lowe said.

As is protocol, an ambulance was also standing by in the event of a crash landing or other problem on board the fixed wing, multi-engine aircraft.

Nearly a dozen people were hurt Monday evening when front landing gear collapsed on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 at La Guardia Airport in the New York City borough of Queens.

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