CEDAR CITY — Two occupants of a small private aircraft walked away unharmed following a crash landing at Cedar City Regional Airport on Monday, airport officials said.
Airport manager Nick Holt told Cedar City News that the incident was reported just before 1:30 p.m.
“Airport operations was notified that there was an aircraft accident out on the runway,” Holt said, adding that he and airport operations specialist Tyler Galetka both responded to the scene. As they did so, they called it in to 911 dispatchers at Cedar Communications.
“Our first responders were able to come out and assist us with this incident,” Holt added.
The aircraft, a Cessna 185 with two people aboard, was in the process of making a landing on the northern portion of the runway when it ended up nose-first into the ground, Holt said.
“It’s hard to say at this point what really caused that,” he said. “It hadn’t reported any incidents prior to the landing. It was just coming in for a normal landing and ended up on its nose.”
The two men aboard the plane were able to exit the plane on their own and walk away without any injuries, Holt said.
Cedar City Police officers and Cedar City Fire Department personnel responded to the scene, Holt said, adding that personnel from Sphere One Aviation, the airport’s fixed-base operator, also responded.
Both of the airport’s main runways were shut down for more than an hour while crews worked to clear the scene, Holt said.
“We opened up our secondary or crosswind runway so that the flight school and others that were waiting at the fueling company could take off while we continued to work out on the main runway to remove the aircraft,” he said.
“They had to get a strap around the tail section in order to lower it back onto its wheels,” he said. “There was a fuel leak that we had to work with and contain.”
Despite the temporary closure of both main runways, an incoming SkyWest flight was delayed by only 10-15 minutes or so, and the ensuing departure flight was able to leave as scheduled, he said.
“Our ground crew here with SkyWest worked really hard to turn around their aircraft and get it out on time,” Holt added.
Holt said the National Transportation Safety Board will be heading up the investigation.
“NTSB will contact the pilot and decide if there’s further investigation that needs to take place, and then the owner can decide if he wants to have it repaired here or take their plane somewhere else to have it repaired,” he said.
“We’re really grateful to have good first responders here that are prepared for this kind of thing,” Holt said. “Every year, we have a tabletop discussion on what the protocols are to respond to an emergency accident here at the airport, and every three years we do a live drill 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 the full scope of findings.
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