Local News

Small plane makes forced landing near Springs airport

Small plane makes forced landing near Springs airport

COLORADO SPRINGS - A Cessna 172 made a forced landing shortly after departure at the Colorado Springs Airport Wednesday morning.

Aviation Assistant Director of Operations and Maintenance John McGinley said the incident happened around 8 a.m. 

The small plane was taking off from runway 35-L when it lost power and made a forced landing in a field north of the runway.

"It's fortunate to have a field out there that the aircraft pilot can take advantage of," said McGinley.

The two people on board suffered minor injuries and went to the hospital as a precaution, McGinley said.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department, AMR, Peterson Fire Department and airport operations staff all responded to the scene.

The west gate at Peterson Air Force Base was closed for a short time after the crash but has reopened.

The incident is under investigation.  The airport notified the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration about the incident. The groups will send an investigator to look at the crash site, the aircraft and interview the pilot to try to determine the factors leading into the crash.

"The cause is currently under investigation and I can't speculate what it might be," said McGinley.

McGinley said it isn't uncommon for pilots to notify air traffic control about mechanical problems as they're leaving or approaching Colorado Springs Airport. However, it isn't common for aircraft to be forced to make an emergency landing. He said it happens about once a year.

"It's clear the pilots had to make some quick decisions and did a very good job and put the aircraft in the field," said McGinley.

McGinley said airport operations are not affected.

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