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There were no injuries reported after a mechanical issue with landing gear forced a small medevac plane into a gears-up “belly” landing at the High Level Airport on Wednesday evening.
Airport staff were alerted to an incoming Canwest Air Beechcraft B200 with a landing gear issue at about 5:10 p.m. on Wednesday evening, Jan. 27. The plane was carrying four passengers at the time – two pilots and two medical staff.
The plane made several low passes over the airport to allow ground crews an opportunity to identify the issue. When that was unsuccessful, the decision was made to land the plane with all gears up.
Emergency crews were onsite and standing by prior to the landing, and the aircraft remained in contact with the NAV Canada Tower.
Airport Manager Luke Colatorti said constant communication between the pilot, tower, and emergency crews was a key part of the landing.
“As the pilot was communicating with the NAV Canada Tower, we were communicating with emergency crews,” he said. “And once everyone was ready, the decision was made to do a final approach.
“They came in and did their belly landing, and emergency crews were ready.”
“It was probably the best outcome possible for this kind of event,” he added. “Nobody was hurt, no fuel was spilled, and no fire occurred.”
Rodney Schmidt, Director of Protective Services and High Level Fire Chief, praised the work of the pilots in safely landing the plane.
“They did a really good job in terms of giving everyone some advanced warning,” he said. “Everybody was OK and there was no fire risk. The pilot did an amazing job putting the plane on the runway, and as a result it was a very straightforward incident.”
The High Level Airport is a regional transportation hub that serves the needs of residents in northern Alberta.