Plane crash

A plane crash has been reported at Killeen's Skylark Field around 9:15 a.m. today, according to emergency dispatch officials.

A small plane with two occupants made a hard landing at Killeen’s Skylark Field around 8:30 a.m. today, officials said.

No injuries were reported in the minor crash. The pilot had to make a “gear-up landing,” said Matt Van Valkenburgh, executive director of aviation for the City of Killeen, on Friday.

One witness at the scene, an air traffic control technician, was locked out of the building during the commotion. “I don’t know if he forgot to lower his landing gear or if he had mechanical issues,” said Billy Wilson.

He said he spoke with a mechanic who saw it happen.

“It sounds like he came in with his gear up and landed on his belly,” Billy Wilson said.

Responding agencies were the Killeen Police Department, Department of Public Safety State Troopers, the Federal Aviation Administration and the airport’s team.

The Killeen Fire Department was called early in the incident, but engines were called off before arriving at the scene, said Mike Wilson, operations manager. “Once I realized it was under control and there were no injuries I called dispatch and let them know.”

The airport was closed until around 11 a.m.

“We’ll do an inspection and run the sweeper over it again to make sure there’s no debris before opening back up,” Mike Wilson said.

Van Valkenburgh added there was no damage to the runway.

The next step is an FAA investigation. 

“FAA investigators will contact the pilot and do an interview, but generally when there are no injuries we’re allowed to tow the plane off the runway and open up the airport,” Van Valkenburgh said. “They’ll interview the pilot later and determine if there is probable cause to continue an investigation.”

The runway was closed for about an hour and a half, but there was not too much disruption to the airport’s schedule, Van Valkenburgh said. “Mostly everyone just shifted their schedules a little bit.” | 254-501-7468

Herald reporter

(1) comment


Guess the old acronym G.U.M.P.S. isn't used any more.
Gas: Fuel on proper tank.
Under Carriage: Gear Down
Mixture: Fuel mixture appropriate for altitude
Prop: Propeller adjusted for RPM's
Seat Belts
We used to recite this, along with the performance of a proper checklist, prior to every landing.
May not have always been perfect but I never landed with the gear up either!

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