A New Hampshire pilot demonstrated skill under pressure after bringing his crippled plane in for a belly landing at the Johnstown airport.
Chuck Burkhead of Portsmouth, N.H., and two passengers walked away from the damaged plane after the crash landing Tuesday afternoon.
He diverted his Cessna 310 to the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport where he circled for about 90 minutes before making what a flight instructor described as a
textbook wheels-up landing.
Burkhead was on approach to the Somerset airport when his twin-engine instruments signaled his aircraft landing gear was malfunctioning, Richland Fire Department Battalion Chief Bob Heffelfinger said.
“He did a great job,” chief flight instructor Dennis Shuke said outside the MTT Aviation operations center. “It was one of the smoothest gear-up landings I've seen. He did everything right.”
Crews were ready to assist in the emergency landing, but Burkhead was able to pull if off without needing their help.