Crash landing closes Kenai's main runway

Posted: Thursday, December 05, 2002

KENAI (AP) -- The Kenai Municipal Airport's main runway was closed for nearly an hour Tuesday afternoon when a twin-engine Cessna crashed upon landing.

Soldotna plane owner Joel Caldwell was returning with a friend from Anchorage when he noticed something wrong just before landing.

''The landing gear didn't lock,'' he said.

Neither occupant of the plane was injured. Caldwell said there was only minor damage to the propellers and nose of the plane after the aircraft collapsed on its front landing gear.

Caldwell said the lock light in the cockpit that indicates all landing gear is prepared for contact did not come on. As he approached the runway, he cut the engines and decreased his air speed.

''We had a totally normal landing, except for the malfunction on the landing gear,'' he said. ''I had the airplane slowed to a crawl before we came in and was able to hold the nose off the ground.''

Airport Manager Rebecca Cronkhite said the airfield was reopened at 4:41 p.m. after crews swept the runway and received a release from the National Transportation Safety Board.

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