A small plane crashed-landed at Tulsa International Airport early Thursday morning after having trouble with the landing gear, but the pilot is uninjured.
The pilot’s instructor and friend Joe Bacon said sometime just before 11 p.m. Wednesday night, experienced pilot Jim Bryant took off from Claremore Regional Airport to fly into Tulsa International Airport.
Bacon said when Bryant attempted to come in for the descent, the landing gear would not go down. He said he tried everything from manually lowering the gear, looking through the handbook, calling his friend who went to wake up his former flight instructor, and even calling Cessna customer support.
They told News On 6 Cessna customer support went through a long checklist of possible fixes, but nothing worked. Eventually, Bacon said customer support told him he would just have to put the plane down without the gear the best he could.
After more than two hours of flying around hoping for a solution, they tell us Bryant was out of options and decided to just bring the plane down. They say they called the Tulsa Fire Department to see what options they had to come down as safely as possible. Firefighters told the group working to help the pilot they could either put foam down on the runway or he could land on concrete and if the plane caught on fire, then they could use the foam for the plane itself.
Bacon said once the decision on how to bring the plane down was made, everyone was ready.
“Tulsa Fire could foam the runway, but they wanted to have enough foam if there was a fire to put it on the plane,” Bacon said. “We said save your foam, we’ll put it on the concrete and make sure there was enough foam to use on him.”
The group of emergency crews at the airport, that was waiting for the pilot, said Bryant was able to bring the plane down as smoothly as he could and he walked away without any injuries. The plane did not catch on fire, but they said there was quite a bit of damage.
That scene cleared from the runway closest to E. Apache St. around 3 a.m. Thursday.