By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
No injuries were reported in an aircraft crash at the Lethbridge Airport last week.
At 1:22 p.m. on Monday, July 30, an Aviat Husky aircraft was coming in to land at the airport, when it experienced what is believed to be a ground-loop collision. A ground loop occurs from a horizontal spin upon landing, and can be caused by a number of different factors.
“When the aircraft comes in, when it touches down, the breaks apply and maybe not enough on one side and too much on the other side, and the aircraft veers to the side. And force is applied to the wheel and in that case, collapses the main gear,” said Lawrence Canning, operations manager at the Lethbridge Airport. “That can be caused by the wind or weather as well, so we’re not certain what caused it.”
During the incident, the landing gear on the front left side of the small two-person plane collapsed, and one of the aircraft’s wings to touched the runway as the plane landed. Both the pilot and passenger of the aircraft reported no injuries.
The Lethbridge Fire Department, Coaldale and District Emergency Services and RCMP were dispatched to the scene. The plane was leaking some fuel onto the runway, and fire crews sprayed foam to ensure the fuel didn’t ignite.
The aircraft also notified the Alberta Transportation Safety Board about the disable aircraft on the runway, and got permission to move the aircraft. As it was an international flight — the aircraft was traveling from Montana to Alaska at the time of the crash — the RCMP also contacted customs.
“I think that the response from the EMS and fire and the RCMP was very professional and handled very well, it went off really without any incident and there was no damage to both passengers — they seemed to be fine — I think it went off very well.”
The aircraft was removed from the runway at about 3:10 p.m. Apart from a few minor indents caused from the landing gear — which were fixed the following day — the runway did not suffer any damage, and once it was checked over, the runway was reopened, and was back at full operation on that same day.