Plane sets down at airport without landing gear

Emergency responders say a Georgia pilot landed his 6-seater Beechcraft Travel Air plane on the runway at the Rowan County Airport Thursday morning without landing gear. Howard Lowden, of Rome, Ga., landed the plane around 10:20 a.m., but it is unclear why the landing gear did not deploy, said Frank Thomason, emergency management services director.

Thomason said Lowden was not injured, but there was some damage to the aircraft and a minor fuel spill that was contained by the fire department and airport personnel.

Thomason said he did not know where Lowden was coming from or where he was headed. He said it appeared Lowden was the only one in the plane, which is a B95 model.

It is not clear if Lowden was able to get out of the aircraft on his own or if first responders got him out.

“It certainly could’ve been much worse,” Thomason said.

The following agencies responded to the scene: Locke Fire, Salisbury Fire, Army National Guard Fire, Franklin Fire, South Salisbury Fire, Bostian Heights Fire, Rowan County Rescue Squad, Emergency Management Services, Rowan EMS, Salisbury Police and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

Thomason said the amount of emergency personnel that responded is predetermined for something of this nature. The response is based on the type of incident.

“This is the standard response if we have an aircraft emergency recorded, is in trouble or if a crash is in the area,” Thomason said.

This is the second plane crash in two months. In mid-April, Robert Poole of Granite Quarry bounced his plane on landing and it overturned. He was not injured in that incident, but there was a small fuel leak. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating this accident.

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