Saturday, March 3, 2018

Incident occurred March 03, 2018 at Huntingburg Airport (KHNB), Dubois County, Indiana

(HUNTINGBURG) - A small plane made a successful emergency landing Saturday morning at Huntingburg Airport.

Airport Manager Travis McQueen says there were two people on board- a pilot and co-pilot both experienced pilots.

The pilots took off Saturday morning for Columbus from the Huntingburg Airport and learned while approaching the Columbus Airport that their front landing gear would not deploy.

The pilots made the decision to return to Huntingburg before attempting a landing.

McQueen was notified around 8:45 a.m. that the plane was returning to Huntingburg to attempt an emergency landing.

McQueen notified emergency crews. Huntingburg, St. Henry Volunteer Fire Departments and a Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services crew responded to the scene. Airport board president Bob Duncan and airport employee Andy Kippenbrock were also on site.

Huntingburg Police Department and Dubois County Sheriff's Department shut down U.S. 231.

The plane circled the airport a couple of times attempting to drop the front landing gear - all attempts failed.
McQueen says a mechanical issue kept the landing gear from deploying.

Around 9:15 a.m. the co-pilot then brought the plane in at 80 miles per hour, touch downed with the rear landing gear laying the nose of the plane down on the runway. McQueen estimated that the copilot used about a thousand feet of the runway to slow to a stop. The co-pilot steered the plane between two lights off the south side of the runway into the grass.

The plane had minimal damage, of scratches and dents to the fiberglass bottom at the front of the plane where it skidded on the runway.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.wbiw.com

“This was a great example of having the training, the people and the equipment to coordinate and respond to a potentially disastrous situation quickly and then everyone being able to go home safe,” Huntingburg Airport Manager Travis McQueen said Saturday morning after a local plane and its two occupants were forced to make an emergency landing.

After learning that a local plane would be returning to the airport and landing without one of its landing gear working properly, local emergency responders and law enforcement began making preparations at the airport.

Huntingburg police and Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies shut down U.S. 231 while members of the Huntingburg and St. Henry Volunteer Fire Departments and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services waited in preparation to respond to the craft potentially crashing.

Local pilot and former airport board member Bob Duncan and airport employee Andy Kippenbrock were also there to help coordinate any emergency response actions if they were required. Duncan’s experience as a military pilot assisted in coordinating the response, according to McQueen.

However, disaster was averted as the copilot of the aircraft was able to bring the plane in at about 80 mph, touch down with the operable rear landing gear before laying the nose of the craft down on the runway.

McQueen estimated that after the copilot allowed the plane’s nose to touch down on the runway, the plane used about a thousand feet of the runway to slow to a stop. At the end of the run, the copilot steered the plane between two lights off the south side of the runway into the grass.

The situation began as the plane and its two occupants, pilot and copilot, headed to Columbus with a group of pilots. After arriving in Columbus, they learned the front landing gear would not deploy. The pilots made the decision to return to Huntingburg Airport.

After arriving, they circled the airport going through every possible contingency to get the landing gear to operate so they could land. “They did everything they know to do in the air,” McQueen said.

But when none of their efforts worked, they made the decision to land the plane without the front landing gear.

“He did a phenomenal job,” McQueen said about the landing. “The landing is testament to the skills of a highly experienced pilot with a lot of time flying that aircraft.”

The unique flight characteristics of the plane—the main wings are positioned to the rear of the plane’s fuselage—added to the difficulty of the landing, McQueen said.

Damages to the plane were minimal consisting of scratches and dents to the fiberglass bottom of the front of the plane that skidded on the runway. “It’s a really easy repair according to the aircraft’s owner,” McQueen said.

He added that the landing gear did not deploy due to a mechanical obstruction.

Original article ➤  https://www.duboiscountyfreepress.com

HUNTINGBURG — A small plane with two aboard made a successful emergency landing this morning at Huntingburg Airport.

The plane, its pilot and his co-pilot were all local, according to Airport Manager Travis McQueen.

The pilots took off this morning for Columbus and learned while approaching the airport there that their front landing gear would not deploy, McQueen said. The pilots then made a decision to return to Huntingburg before attempting a landing.

Other local pilots who were in Columbus to meet the men called McQueen around 8:45 a.m. to appraise him of the situation. The airport manager then alerted local authorities.

When he arrived at the airport, McQueen said, the plane that was in distress was circling and former airport board president Bob Duncan and airport employee Andy Kippenbrock were on site helping to prepare for the emergency landing.

The Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department, Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services and the St. Henry Volunteer Fire Department were all present.

The Huntingburg Police Department and Dubois County Sheriff's Department shut down U.S. 231 as the co-pilot brought the plane down for a picture perfect emergency landing at about 9:15 a.m., according to McQueen. The plane received minimal damage as it skidded on its nose and stopped off the south side of the runway.

"He just did a phenomenal job," McQueen said after the co-pilots landing.

Dubois County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Stuart Wilson said the small plane was of a type that its main wing was at the rear of the fuselage.

"The only thing really dragging the ground was the nose cone," Wilson said. "It was almost stopped before I even saw it. He didn't even use half the runway probably before he got it stopped."

There were no injuries.

After the pilot and co-pilot were on the ground, an attempt was made to pull down the plane's front gear and it would not budge, according to McQueen. There appears to be a mechanical obstruction keeping the gear from deploying.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://duboiscountyherald.com

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