• Pilot makes landing without gear at Arnold Palmer Regional; No injuries reported


    WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. - No one was injured Thursday morning when a single-engine plane slid along a runway at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport after the plane's landing gear malfunctioned, airport officials said.

    The four-seat Beechcraft Bonanza model plane sustained minor damage at 11:15 a.m. when it landed harder than anticipated.

    The pilot, William Hoffman, and certified flight instructor, William Wright, escaped the plane without injury, said Dwayne Pickels, a spokesman for the Westmoreland County Airport Authority.

    There was no fire during the landing, Pickels said.

    Neither airport officials nor the occupants of the plane were certain if the landing gear collapsed upon hitting the runway or failed to lower into a landing position, Pickels said.

    Area fire departments were dispatched to the airport along Route 981.

    “For some reason, the landing gear failed and the aircraft hit the runway and skidded to a stop,” said Gabe Monzo with the Westmoreland County Airport Authority.

    Monzo said the FAA is investigating why the gear failed.

    “We have a lot of volunteers from surrounding fire departments that assist us. Luckily, it wasn’t that major. We lifted the aircraft onto an airbag, set it on a cart and took it off the runway,” Monzo said.

    Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.

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