First responders at the scene of a forced landing involving a Cessna 185 at the Cedar City Regional Airport, Cedar City, Utah on November 29, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News
CITY OF CEDAR – Two occupants of a small private plane escaped unharmed after a forced landing at Cedar City Regional Airport on Monday, airport officials said.
Airport manager Nick Holt told Cedar City News the incident was reported just before 1:30 p.m.
“Airport operations were informed that there was a plane crash on the runway,” Holt said, adding that he and airport operations specialist Tyler Galetka had both responded to the scene. In doing so, they called Cedar Communications 911 dispatchers.
“Our first responders were able to come out and help us with this incident,” added Holt.
The plane, a Cessna 185 with two people on board, was landing on the northern part of the runway when it first crashed nose into the ground, Holt said.
“It’s hard to say at this point what really caused this,” he said. “He hadn’t reported any incidents before landing. It had just landed normally and ended up on its nose.
The two men on the plane were able to exit the plane on their own and get away with no injuries, Holt said.
Cedar City Police officers and Cedar City Fire Department personnel responded to the scene, Holt said, adding that staff from Sphere One Aviation, the airport’s fixed base operator, had also answered.
The airport’s two main runways were closed for more than an hour while crews worked to clear the scene, Holt said.
“We opened our secondary or crosswind runway so the flight school and other people waiting at the refueling company could take off while we continued to practice on the main runway to retrieve the aircraft.” , did he declare.
“They had to put a strap around the rear end in order to lower it onto its wheels,” he said. “There was a fuel leak that we had to work with and contain. “
Despite the temporary closure of the two main runways, an inbound SkyWest flight was only delayed for around 10 to 15 minutes, and the subsequent departure flight was able to depart as planned, he said.
“Our ground crew here with SkyWest worked really hard to turn their plane around and get it out on time,” added Holt.
Holt said the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation.
“The NTSB will contact the pilot and decide if a further investigation needs to take place, then the owner can decide whether he wants to have it fixed here or take his plane somewhere else to have it fixed,” he said.
“We’re really thankful to have good first responders here who are prepared for this sort of thing,” said Holt. “Every year we have a table discussion about the protocols for responding to an emergency accident here at the airport, and every three years we do a live exercise where we simulate these kinds of incidents.”
This report is based on preliminary information provided by first responders or airport officials and may not contain all of the findings.
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