No injuries or major damage was reported after a single-engine plane bellied in to the Ardmore Industrial Airpark on Friday, but the Federal Aviation Administration will be conducting an investigation of the incident.
Just before noon Friday, the plane landed without its landing gear, Manager of Airport Operation Chase Tindle said, adding the FAA will be visiting the airpark sometime this week investigating the incident. While at first it was believed the landing gear was malfunctioning, Mita Bates, president and CEO of the Ardmore Development Authority, said it was determined the pilot did not prepare the plane for landing.
“The good news was that no one was hurt,” Bates said.
Tindle said there was hardly any damage done and the fire department at the airpark and control tower manager “handled it very professionally” and responded to the incident “very well.”
“Everybody did exactly what they were supposed to,” Bates said.
The first thing that happens when incidents like the one Friday occur is that the fire department responds to the scene, Tindle said.
“Once the situation is deemed safe, then the FAA and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) are contacted and made aware of the incident,” he said.
The control tower at the airpark is currently undergoing a much-needed renovation, as it is the original tower from when the Army Air Base operated out of it during World War II. The FAA has a contract with a company that provides traffic control at the airpark, allowing a variety of aircraft to fly in and out, including military traffic.
The plane that “bellied in” the airpark Friday was privately owned, Tindle said.
The tower, which still operates on a daily basis, is expected to be complete in April. The airpark is also in the process of getting a new, $6-7 million Taxiway Alpha. The taxiway project is being done in phases to have minimal impact on air traffic.
The airpark is owned by the city of Ardmore, but controlled by the ADA.