Wed, April 08

Close call at Sedona Airport

A flight from Nevada to scenic Sedona turned out to be a surprise for a Las Vegas party when a plane belly-landed on the runway.

Sedona Fire District and police officers responded to a report of a single engine airplane landing at Sedona Airport with no landing gear on Dec. 14 at approximately 1 p.m.

Emergency responders arrived at 235 Air Terminal Drive to find a 1978 Cessna 210 airplane had landed with its gear un-deployed, causing damage to the plane, but no injuries.

The plane had slid to a stop on its underside about 1,000 yards from the west-end of the Sedona Airport Restaurant, 1185 Airport Road, its propeller blades folded under and its underside damaged and scraped.

Firefighters responded with two engines, two ambulances and a water tender with 13 crewmembers to find the plane's occupants had exited the aircraft unscathed.

Police report that the pilot, identified as Dale S. Stewart, age undisclosed, of Las Vegas, reportedly failed to deploy the plane's landing gear and touched down on the runway, sliding about 200 feet before coming to a stop.

The two passengers were identified as Dean Lavell, 40, and Roberto Ruiz, 30, both from Las Vegas.

There were 20-50 gallons of aviation fuel aboard the aircraft, causing firefighters to prepare for the worst, but thankfully, it didn't come and the incident ended with only a damaged aircraft and perhaps a bruised ego.

Police report no damage was observed to the airport property. The airport manager, Mac Macall, told officers the incident would be filed with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The airport was closed to air traffic until the damaged aircraft could be removed from the runway.

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