Dentist survives crash landing at Kona airport after wheel malfunction
KONA (HawaiiNewsNow) - A dentist walked away uninjured from a hard landing at the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport Tuesday morning.
Dr. Jeffrey Ellis had just taken off from Waimea in his Rockwell Commander 114 when he learned that his one of his wheels were malfunctioning.
According to Ellis, one of the back landing wheels on the plane refused to budge and stuck half-way out when it landed on Runway 17.
Prior to the hard landing, Ellis said he had no choice but to bring the plane down as slowly as possible.
He gently landed on the one wheel that did come out, before letting gravity and friction take over.
“It’s really upsetting to know that I’m going to wreck the plane. That was more of my concern,” said Ellis. “I did not want to have a wrecked plane.”
According to the FAA, the nose gear collapsed when it landed and the plane veered off the side of the runway.
The state Department of Transportation closed a portion of the runway around 9 a.m.
Some flights were diverted due to the incident.
Officials reopened the runway around 11:30 a.m.
The FAA is investigating.
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