Former Gov. Hammond flips airplane

Posted: Wednesday, June 21, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Former Gov. Jay Hammond crashed on landing at his Lake Clark home airstrip Tuesday evening, causing substantial damage to the craft but none to himself.

Hammond said he was returning from Anchorage when the wheel of his Cessna 180 broke off as he touched down on the gravel airstrip at about 50 mph. The single-engine plane flipped and skidded about 100 feet.

Hammond, 77, hung upside down for some 10 minutes before maneuvering through the jammed doors. The former hunting guide had hip-replacement surgery about two months ago.

''I can get in and out of the airplane. It's just I'm at about one-quarter throttle,'' he said.

Of concern was the fuel he watched dripping from the wing tanks.

''If you've got a hot engine, it can be quite interesting,'' he said. ''Fortunately it didn't catch fire.''

The 1955 Cessna may be doomed for the scrapyard, however.

''Probably the most damage to an aircraft I've ever had,'' he said. Hammond was governor from 1974 to 1982.

He has been flying since 1940 and has logged more than 20,000 hours.

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