Plane Makes Hard Landing After Takeoff
A single-engine airplane made an abrupt landing shortly after takeoff Thursday afternoon at the Moore County Airport.
The pilot told firefighters that he had difficulty taking off, according to Whispering Pines Fire Chief Scott Bullard.
“He got off the ground, to his estimate, about 50 feet, and came back down,” Bullard said.
The pilot, whose name was not released, was taken to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries. He was the only person in the plane.
Airport Executive Director Carol Thomas said the pilot told her the plane’s engine stopped. She said the landing wheel apparently broke off when the plane landed. The plane sustained some damage to the left wing, she said.
She added that the pilot, who is local, “seemed awfully calm after the incident.”
Several residents driving in the area of the airport saw the plane.
Mike Whetzel said he was driving down Airport Road from Whispering Pines past the airport about 3 p.m. when he noticed a plane that he thought was coming in to land. He said he wasn’t sure what was happening, but it “sure looked funny to me.”
“Then it (the plane) just went off the runway and nosed into the dirt,” said Whetzel, who lives in Whispering Pines. “It looked like the landing gear was messed up. It happened so fast, I wasn’t sure if I was seeing an illusion or not.”
Shortly after the incident, a call went out to emergency responders about a plane making an improper landing at the airport. The Whispering Pines Fire Department was among the departments dispatched. A short time later, a stand-down order was issued for all other departments.
Online Editor Hunter Chase contributed to this report.
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