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Failed landing gear prompts airport scare

Firefighters and airport officials look over a plane that had a bumpy landing Thursday at the Lincolnton/Lincoln County Regional Airport. No one was injured.
Diane Turbyfill / Lincoln Times-News

A small airplane had to make an emergency landing at the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional Airport Thursday morning after the pilot failed to use his landing gear.
No one was hurt in the incident, authorities said, but both passengers of the plane were shaken.
Pilot Thomas Trammell and passenger Bruce Pritchard were flying the Piper Navajo aircraft from Albertville, Ala. to Lincoln County, said airport manager Jeff Lynn.
They were scheduled to land at the airport around 10 a.m., Lynn said.
But at about 9:55 the plane hit the runway without its landing gear, skidding about 400 feet.
Boger City Fire Department responded to the airport, but there was no fire after the landing.
Tim Jordan was waiting for the plane to land inside the airport’s office. He, Trammell and Pritchard are all involved in the development of a new apartment complex for seniors being built near the Heath House on Wilma Sigmon Road.
They routinely use the airport when coming to Lincolnton on business, he said.
“I looked over, and I see them walking across the grass,” Jordan said. He then noticed the plane sitting on the runway.
Jordan said Trammell is a “very experienced” pilot and has been flying for 32 years.
Trammell declined to comment on the incident.
The airport had to be closed following the emergency landing, Lynn said. No other planes were scheduled to land Thursday morning, but some pilots set to take off were notified of the situation.
Crews were working to move the plane off the runway Thursday morning so the airport could be reopened.
The incident caused no major damage to the airport’s runway, Lynn said.
“It just put a little extra paint on it,” Lynn said.by Alice Smith

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