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Landing Gear Malfunction Leads to CHO Emergency Landing

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

May 11, 2013

A single-engine plane resorted to an emergency landing at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport Saturday afternoon.

Passengers in the terminal said an overhead announcement reported the single-engine plane landed on the runway when its landing gear malfunctioned.

Jill Piers was on her plane, ready to take off and head home to Michigan.

"The pilot came on and said that there had been a small aircraft that came in for a landing and something happened with the nose of the plane or the mechanism. So, we were not able to get out," Piers, from Holland, Mich., said.

Chris Knight, from Madison County, was on his way to Chicago. The plane he was on was too heavy so he voluntarily got off and thought he would just catch the next flight.

"Well when that happened, the small airplane hit the runway down here without landing gear so that flight was cancelled and they shut the whole runway down. So, nobody was out of here," Knight said.

It was at 5 p.m. on Saturday that a single engine plane coming from Winchester hit and skid across the runway after having an apparent landing gear problem.

"We can confirm at this time that both passengers on the plane are fine. The aircraft itself is still on the runway and at this point when the investigation we will begin the process of removing that plane from the runway," said Director of Air Service and Marketing at CHO, Jason Burch.

"A lot of folks are upset you can imagine. People in there just want to get home," Knight said.

The runway reopened around 7:30 p.m. but after hearing the investigation could take hours, Knight and Piers didn't want to take any chances.

"I probably would not be able to make my connecting flight if I did leave at some point this evening so I'm leaving tomorrow morning out of Richmond," Piers said. "I've had a wonderful stay in Charlottesville so one more night here won't be too bad."

"I'm in no rush either I'll fly out tomorrow," said Knight.

Virginia State Police continue the investigation into what caused the problem.

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