Plane makes emergency landing at Huntingburg Airport


HUNTINGBURG — A small plane with two aboard made a successful emergency landing this morning at Huntingburg Airport.

The plane, its pilot and his co-pilot were all local, according to Airport Manager Travis McQueen.

The pilots took off this morning for Columbus and learned while approaching the airport there that their front landing gear would not deploy, McQueen said. The pilots then made a decision to return to Huntingburg before attempting a landing.

Other local pilots who were in Columbus to meet the men called McQueen around 8:45 a.m. to appraise him of the situation. The airport manager then alerted local authorities.

When he arrived at the airport, McQueen said, the plane that was in distress was circling and former airport board president Bob Duncan and airport employee Andy Kippenbrock were on site helping to prepare for the emergency landing.

The Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department, Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services and the St. Henry Volunteer Fire Department were all present.

The Huntingburg Police Department and Dubois County Sheriff's Department shut down U.S. 231 as the co-pilot brought the plane down for a picture perfect emergency landing at about 9:15 a.m., according to McQueen. The plane received minimal damage as it skidded on its nose and stopped off the south side of the runway.

"He just did a phenomenal job," McQueen said after the co-pilots landing.

Dubois County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Stuart Wilson said the small plane was of a type that its main wing was at the rear of the fuselage.

"The only thing really dragging the ground was the nose cone," Wilson said. "It was almost stopped before I even saw it. He didn't even use half the runway probably before he got it stopped."

There were no injuries.

After the pilot and co-pilot were on the ground, an attempt was made to pull down the plane's front gear and it would not budge, according to McQueen. There appears to be a mechanical obstruction keeping the gear from deploying.

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