A Beech F33A Bonanza flying from Caldwell, New Jersey, was forced to make an emergency landing last Thursday morning at East Hampton Airport when the landing gear to the aircraft would not deploy.
Andrew Harris, the pilot and owner of the plane, brought the aircraft down and successfully landed it on its belly. Neither he nor a passenger, his wife, Patricia Harris, was harmed. The plane was removed from the runway and an Federal Aviation Administration official later interviewed the pilot.
The incident caused concern among local emergency responders, who were not notified of it, which is standard protocol in such a situation, said Gerry Turza, first assistant chief of the East Hampton Fire Department. "I checked with the East Hampton Town police, and they were never notified either," he said. It appears that police did not learn of the incident until a couple of hours after it happened.
Chief Turza called East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, who took action later that day. "We have informed the airport management that protocol has to be followed at all times," he said Wednesday. "We expect that to be the case, going forward." The fire department has equipment on hand to deal with emergencies, he said, "but they need time to get from wherever they are in the community. Notification is critical."
The airport manager, Jemille Charlton, was not available for comment Wednesday.
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Farmingdale FSDO-11
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 33
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: EAST HAMPTON
State: New York
AIRCRAFT LANDED GEAR UP, EAST HAMPTON, NEW YORK.