A small twin-engine plane crash-landed on runway 24 at the Flagler County Airport at 12:50 p.m. Tuesday after the plane’s landing gear failed. There are no reports of injuries. The runway is closed, but the airport is not.
The plane is a DA42, belonging to Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University. It was a training flight with two people on board, Flagler County Spokesman Carl Laundrie said. Neither was injured.
An identical Embry-Riddle plane flying over Palm Coast on Oct. 17 lost one of its doors, which crashed in the cul de sac of the C Section, near 16 College Court. No one was injured in that incident. On Wednesday, Embry-Riddle confirmed that the same plane was involved in both incidents.
Numerous requests were made to Embry-Riddle for the N-Number, or plane identification number, of the DA42 involved in the October incident. Embry-Riddle refused to provide the number. The university has again refused to do so regarding the N-Number of the plane involved in Tuesday’s incident. “We’re investigating a landing gear malfunction on one of our aircraft that landed at the Flagler Airport. There were no injuries. That’s all the information I have at the moment,” Embry-Riddle Spokesman James Roddey wrote in an email a little after 2 p.m.
Just before noon Wednesday, Roddey wrote: “We did not have the information on the aircraft ID verified until late last night when we received the preliminary investigation report from the Flight Safety.” That information was not going t be released before being confirmed, he wrote. “The aircraft, N1ER, was conducting a training exercise involving runway approach and landing. The first three landings were successful and the fourth landing in the exercise resulted in the gear incident. The aircraft is no longer in service and is being evaluated. This is the same aircraft that was involved in the October incident. There is a full investigation underway, and the university is cooperating with the Federal Aviation Administration. We will release more information on this incident as it becomes available.”
The incident report obtained Wednesday from the Flagler County Airport was filled out by Embry-Riddle’s Walter Barry, a resident of DeBary, who noted a failure of “all three gear.”
On Tuesday, two planes had been setting up to land behind the DA42 that crash-landed. One of them diverted to Daytona Beach, the other landed on Runway 29.
Ralph Treder, 68, a Palm Coast resident, was piloting the second plane, getting some refresher hours with an instructor, at the time of the incident. Treder said he heard the tower at the airport radio the plane whose gear had failed. “Sir,” the tower told the pilot of the other plane, according to Trader, “your landing gear collapsed, your nose gear collapsed.”
Trader was flying in from Palatka. It’s not yet clear where the other plane was flying in from, or how many people were aboard.
“He came on the frequency and told us we’ll have to change you to 29,” Trader said.
Flagler County Fire Rescue, Flagler Beach and Palm Coast Fire Department units at first staged near Highjackers Restaurant, then drove onto the tarmac to the plane, which was perpendicular to the runway at the point where it came to rest, not far from the airport tower.