UPDATE — Classic plane suffers little damage in nose-down mishap at Port Angeles airport
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Rite Bros. Aviation workers begin hoisting the nose of a single-engine aircraft at William R. Fairchild International Airport in Port Angeles on Tuesday afternoon.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A small plane that nosed into a runway at William R. Fairchild International Airport on Tuesday afternoon suffered only minor propeller damage, and the single occupant of the plane walked away from the incident.

An antique Navion, a single-engine four-seat aircraft piloted by owner Brad Newell of Port Townsend, was landing on Runway 26 when the front retractable landing gear gave way, said Jeff Well, owner of Rite Bros. Aviation.

“This is fairly minor, the equivalent of a fender-bender in a parking lot,” Well said.

The plane was being ferried from Port Townsend to Port Angeles for its annual inspection at Rite Bros., and Well said the plane would remain for repairs to the cowl, which was dented when the plane tipped onto its nose, and to inspect and repair the failed landing gear.

“It’s in immaculate condition,” he said of the Navion, which he thought was more than 60 years old.

Well said that he believes an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration will probably be at the hangar to observe the inspection and to determine the cause of the failure, but overall, the incident was probably too minor to warrant a full investigation.

The runway was closed for fewer than 40 minutes before the plane was removed by Rite Bros. employees.

Jerry Ludke, Port of Port Angeles airport and marinas manager, said several takeoffs were delayed by the brief closure.

He said that a jet that had been on approach for a landing was able to circle around to land on Runway 26, and a FedEx plane took off from Runway 31.

“It did not affect Kenmore Air flights,” Ludke said.

Kenmore Air provides regularly scheduled commercial flights between Port Angeles and Seattle.

Last modified: July 16. 2014 2:29PM
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