Small plane lands on belly after gear malfunctions - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Small plane lands on belly after gear malfunctions

John Weiser John Weiser
Sverre Sundgaard Sverre Sundgaard

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KHNL) - A private plane had to make an emergency landing Monday morning at the Honolulu International Airport, after the landing gear malfunctioned.

A twin engine plane landed on its belly.

"As it touched down, the aircraft collapsed to the right and the wing struck, and it veered off to the right of the runway," said Charlie Morris, a witness.

Crews towed the aircraft to Tora Flight Adventure Club's hanger. John Weiser owns the plane. He says he was coming back from a personal trip in Moloka'i when he noticed the right landing light didn't come on.

"My friend Gil Garcia, a controller up at the FAA, he happened to be there with binoculars. I said, 'Gil, can you see my right landing gear?' He said, 'No John, there's no wheel there.' He said, 'I think you better declare an emergency,'" said Weiser.

"It was a bit unnerving at first when we realized our right wheel wasn't going to come down," said Sverre Sundgaard, the only other person on board Weiser's Piper Seneca.

"He was very, very calm and just kept laughing because the radio comes on and says it's an emergency landing and he thought that was kind of amusing so that calmed me down," said Sundgaard.

Weiser says there's no real danger when one gear fails as long as you have full control of the plane. The Federal Aviation Administration says landings like this typically end safely.

Weiser managed to make a hard landing using the nose and left wheel. Without the right landing gear to support it, the plane skidded down the runway. No one was hurt, and the plane suffered minor damage.

"We are very fortunate, anything can happen," said Sundgaard.

"Count your blessings; it's a good day," said Weiser.

The plane is registered to Moanalua Mortuary, and is used to scatter ashes by air. The Mortuary's CEO says Weiser is a business partner.

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