Main runway reopened at Yeager after plane's troubled landing
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Yeager Airport's main runway was closed for about two and a half hours Thursday after a plane landed without any of its landing gear down.
Airport spokesman Brian Belcher said the incident occurred at 11:03 a.m.
Belcher said the pilot was making a routine landing and had not signaled there was any type of emergency prior to bringing the aircraft down.
He said he and airport assistant marketing director Anthony Gilmer happened to be watching the runway when the crash occurred.
"It was coming in like a normal landing until he got to the pavement, then we knew we had a problem," Belcher said.
According to the aircraft database on FlightAware.com, the plane is a twin-engine Piper Navajo registered to Air Photographics of Martinsburg. According to the registry, the plane is about 43 years old.
Belcher said there were two people on board.
He said when the plane hit, he could see the propellers bending back and dust coming from the runway.
First responders reported no injuries.
It took crews about two and a half hours to clear the runway. It was reopened about 1:30 p.m.
Ground crews used straps to connect the plane to a front-end loader tractor, which hauled the plane off the runway.
Three outbound flights were delayed because of the crash, Belcher said.
A U.S. Airways flight arriving from Charlotte, N.C., had to circle Charleston air space for about 25 minutes before it was able to land.
Belcher said an investigator with the Federal Aviation Administration had been contacted and will conduct a preliminary investigation of the incident.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at email@example.com or 304-348-4836.