Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mooney M20M TLS, N1085S: Aircraft landed gear up - Pensacola International Airport (KPNS), Pensacola, Florida

A private airplane experienced a landing gear malfunction Monday night while touching down at Pensacola International Airport, causing officials to close the airport for about three minutes as well as close down the airport’s north to south runway for several hours, an airport official said. 

Pensacola International Airport Director Greg Donovan said that between 7:30 and 8 p.m. last night, the landing gear of a Mooney single-engine aircraft gave way as the airplane attempted to land.

The pilot, the only one onboard the aircraft, was uninjured, Donovan said. The plane skidded partway down the runway on its belly, causing minor damage to the aircraft and no damage to the runway.

Emergency responders were at the scene of the crash within minutes, and the airport was closed to air traffic for about three minutes while officials assessed the severity of the incident.

Officials determined that runway 17, the north to south runway, would have to be temporarily closed with the aircraft was removed. The east to west runway remained open.

“Everyone trains for this,” Donovan said. “We have teams on call 24 hours a day from the Pensacola Police Department, the Pensacola Fire Department, maintenance teams…They all did very well and responded very quickly.”

The plane cleared from the runway at 11:22 p.m., Donovan said.

He said it had been more than 10 months since a plane had landed at the airport with its gear up.

The Mooney aircraft was traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Houston.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the landing gear malfunction.