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Crashed plane owned by local flight school

Posted: December 14, 2012 - 12:22pm  |  Updated: December 16, 2012 - 1:11am
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A Cessna-150C with a Texas Taildragger modification owned by local flight school Alaska Flight Center Inc. sits tied down at the Juneau International Airport on Friday. The left gear leg broke and dug into the runway as flight instructor Wallace Long, 66, and a student were practicing touch-and-go landings on Thursday. No injuries were reported.  Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
A Cessna-150C with a Texas Taildragger modification owned by local flight school Alaska Flight Center Inc. sits tied down at the Juneau International Airport on Friday. The left gear leg broke and dug into the runway as flight instructor Wallace Long, 66, and a student were practicing touch-and-go landings on Thursday. No injuries were reported.

A local flight school called Alaska Flight Center Inc. is the registered owner of the airplane that crashed at the Juneau International Airport on Thursday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration registry.

Flight instructor Wallace Long, 66, and a student were practicing touch-and-go landings on the runway when the landing gear broke and the plane crashed at about 2:10 p.m., according to Long and the preliminary findings by the National Transportation Safety Board.

“The left gear leg broke and dug into the runway and the airplane did a 180-degree turn, or ground loop,” NTSB Air Safety Investigator Brice Banning said in a phone interview Friday morning. Banning is the lead investigator assigned to the case.

No serious injuries were reported. The Cessna-150C with a Texas Taildragger modification, which is one of two airplanes registered to the company, according to its website, was substantially damaged, Banning said.

The official cause of the crash won’t be determined until the investigation is complete, Banning noted. The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating.

Long declined to comment on the crash since it is still under investigation, but he did confirm by phone that he was the instructor in the plane at the time. The student’s name was not released.

Long is the sole instructor for the company, according to the Alaska Flight Center website. He has over 4,000 flight hours of dual instruction given and has more than two years experience flying in the Southeast, the website states.

The Alaska Flight Center issues private pilot certificates and offers private pilot courses, mountain flying courses, tailwheel transition courses and Bush pilot courses.

Alaska Flight Center also owns a four-seat Cessna 172. The planes are also available as rentals that can be checked out for an hourly rate.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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