Small plane crashes on air strip

Posted: Sunday, April 30, 2000

No one was injured when a small plane with two people aboard crashed nose-down at the Juneau Airport about 1:15 p.m. Saturday.

The two-seater Husky came down steeply on the north side of the air strip. The plane appeared to suffer damage only to its nose, said air traffic controller Rebecca Smith of the Juneau airport tower.

The flight was not a scheduled part of the Southeast Alaska Regional Airshow, Smith said.

The plane's pilot was Dr. Thomas L. Hall of Juneau. Hall could not be reached for comments Saturday. The name of his passenger was unknown.

No one was injured and no ambulance was requested, firefighters said. The plane came in ``low and slow,'' firefighters said. Other witnesses described it as ``a hard landing.''

The FAA regional operations center in Anchorage confirmed there were no injuries, and said the plane was owned by North Star Aviation. An estimate of damage was unavailable Saturday.

``He just got caught in a gust of wind and it flipped,'' said Ralph Sanford, air field operations manager.

The National Weather Service said winds were gusting from 38 to 50 mph out of the southeast about 1 p.m. Saturday near the airport.

``It was a relatively new plane with a new engine and new paint job,'' Sanford added.

Hall walked away from a similar plane crash on April 22, 1999, at the Haines airport. He was landing his personal Cessna 185 amphibious craft when it did a cartwheel and went off the Tarmac. Winds were gusting to 40 knots at the time of that incident. Hall suffered minor bruises and abrasions.

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