Skip to comments.Scouts have bumpy landing
Posted on 03/19/2007 8:17:38 AM PDT by fgoodwin
Scouts have bumpy landing
Web Posted: 03/18/2007 01:39 AM CDT
Chuck McCollough Express-News
Three Boy Scouts and their pilot walked away from a hard landing at Hondo Municipal Airport on Saturday after part of the plane's landing gear failed to lock in place, witnesses said. "I'm glad to be down safe. I was really scared after I saw part of the wheel fall off," said 12-year-old Eric Riegel.
He and fellow scouts Nathaniel Mayberry, 13, and Kirby Vandervort, 10, all of Houston, were flying with pilot Thomas Skiles to earn their aviation merit badges.
Dozens of other Scouts were present when the airplane started its landing approach and it became apparent something was wrong, said Nathaniel Mayberry's father, Luther Mayberry.
"My son and the other boys were on one of the last round of flights, and we were on the tarmac watching the plane coming in when I sensed something was not well, something was out of place," the father said. "The wheels did not come down all the way and the pilot circled at least once.
"As he came in for the belly landing, the emergency vehicles raced toward the airplane, and I did, too."
Luther Mayberry, as he put it, "ran faster than I ever have before" as his son, the other Scouts and the pilot quickly escaped the plane.
There was no fire.
Seconds before the plane came down, Riegel said, the pilot told his passengers he would land on the grass next to the runway.
"Then there was a hard thump when we hit, and we got out fast. It was about five minutes between the time we knew the landing gear wasn't working and when we got down. It was really scary," the boy said.
Airport manager Timothy Fousee said a lever that locks the landing gear in place malfunctioned. He said the Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing the incident.
Any landing you walk away from ...
SandRat, can you post to your Scouting ping-list?
Gives new meaning to the motto "Be prepared"!
Could you put me on your Scouting Ping List, please?
I take it they got their patches?
My son and another Scout who went with us from our Troop, both got their signed Aviation Merit Badge blue cards, and a special commemorative patch. They won't get their actual merit badges until the Troop awards them next month.
I think that's probably true of the boys in the plane. By the way, there was second "gear-up" landing that day, that the articles didn't report. Again, everyone walked away safely, but two crack-ups in one day does give one pause.
Fortunately, my son and his buddy flew a helicpoter, and it didn't have any problems all day.
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