News Plane incidents — 17 October 2017

Reno-Tahoe International Airport authorities say a C-130 military plane landed safely in Reno late Monday morning after experiencing some sort of mechanical issue.

“Absolutely, the best case scenario,” Brian Kulpin, Reno-Tahoe International Airport Spokesman said. “Not only just a safe landing but a beautiful landing by the pilot.

Officials with the Nevada Air National Guard say the plane had a landing gear malfunction in the front of the plane. That caused the pilot to return to the airport for an emergency landing.

“We had a C-130 with a nose gear issue,” Lt. Nate Roark, Firefighter with the Nevada Air National Guard said. “It wouldn’t come down and it said it had 40,000 pounds of fuel onboard, 14 people on. It was coming in hot.”>

The incident happened around 9 a.m. on Monday. The plane took off from Reno when it experienced that issue. The plane burned off some of its fuel first before it landed at the airport.

“If something, God forbid did happen, they come down with less fuel on-board which is less of a hazard to the crew members and us,” Roark said.

“What happened today was called an Alert 2,” Kulpin said. “We had notification that an aircraft had some type of an emergency in flight. So, we were ready. We mustered emergency vehicles in a way that we practice for.”

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Regional emergency agencies aided the Reno-Tahoe International Fire Department, including REMSA and the Reno Fire Department. The airport’s fire department trains for this type of event, several times per year. Every three years, every regional emergency agency practice a full-scale mock plane crash.

“Our community was all hands-on deck with our local fire departments who we work so closely with on these emergency drills and all that practice came into play, today,” Kulpin said. “Thankfully, all that training wasn’t needed to be put to the full test, today.”

“From the reports that we received of the landing gear malfunction, we took it very seriously,” Paul Burton, REMSA Director of EMS Operations said. “We ramped up our resources really quickly.”

The C-130 aircraft belongs to the Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Kulpin says the situation could have turned out much differently, especially with an aircraft as large as a C-130.

“When you have an aircraft that size, we’re going to have a lot of emergency vehicles to handle whatever could have happened,” Kulpin said.

Fire crews escorted the plane back to the Nevada Air National Guard base, to make sure everything went smoothly until it parked.

“That’s the safest way we can do it, just be prepared for anything because safety is always number one here at the airport,” Kulpin said.

“It was a big sigh of relief to watch the airplane land safely and everybody be safe and not needing all the resources we had assembled for that,” Burton said.

“When we went on-board and we were asking about the problem, specifically, it looked like everyone else was relieved,” Roark said. “They were good to see us and we were good to see them walking out.”

Regular commercial flights continued as scheduled with no delays.

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