Saturday, January 09, 2021

Incident occurred January 04, 2021 at Central Wyoming Regional Airport (KRIW), Riverton, Wyoming

RIVERTON, Wyoming (WNE) — No one was injured Monday after an aircraft landed without hydraulics at Central Wyoming Regional Airport.

Airport manager Paul Griffin said he was notified just before 7 p.m. Monday that a Key Lime Air pilot headed to Riverton needed fire and ambulance crews to stand by due to a hydraulics failure on his aircraft.

Griffin described the Swearingen Metroliner cargo plane as the “flying cigar” that carries mail to and from Riverton twice a day.

The hydraulic malfunction meant the pilot – who was the only person on board – had to manually lower his landing gear using a pump and a jack handle, Griffin said, but it also impacted his ability to steer the plane. “

It’s kind of like losing power steering on a car,” Griffin explained. To compensate for the lack of hydraulic steering assistance, Griffin said air traffic controllers helped guide the pilot toward the runway on a path that avoided “tight turns.”

Meanwhile, local police, firefighters, and ambulance crews gathered at the airport in preparation for the landing.

“We had everybody stationed waiting for him (when) he was about 10 minutes out,” Griffin said.

Fortunately, the emergency response was only precautionary: Griffin said the pilot executed a “beautiful landing,” rolling about three-quarters of the way down the runway before coming to a stop.


  1. Awesome Airmanship! I’d be proud to fly as pax with you Captain!
    Wish I was there!
    Love it!

  2. I learned how to drive in my father's 1976 Dodge pickup truck with no power steering. The thing about that is that the slower you go, the harder it is to steer, and impossible to turn while completely stopped. The faster you go, the less effort needed to control the steering. The opposite is the case with no hydraulic help for a high performance aircraft like the Metroliner where the faster you go the more air resistance makes it difficult to control the control surfaces. What I'd like to know is what the control surface feel would be like in this aircraft with no hydraulics vs. say a high performance seriously speedy piston twin with no hydraulic assist like say a Piper Aerostar.