Pilot, plane safe after landing gear finally locks into place

2013-07-31T11:37:00Z 2013-07-31T17:59:30Z Pilot, plane safe after landing gear finally locks into placeRegister staff Napa Valley Register
July 31, 2013 11:37 am  • 

Firefighters rushed to the airport at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday after a pilot of a single-engine plane reported the front-landing gear was stuck, according to CalFire/Napa County Fire.

Three fire engines from CalFire and the American Canyon Fire Department responded. A fire engine from CalFire/Napa County Fire’s Greenwood Ranch station positioned itself at the end of the runway to follow the plane as it landed.

As the plane approached the tarmac, however, the front landing wheel locked itself in place, about 150 feet above the ground and the plane landed without incident. The pilot was not injured.

“He was happy,” CalFire Fire Battalion Chief Barry Biermann said.

Martin Pehl, Napa County Airport manager, said the plane, a Cessna Model C-177 Cardinal, is from Angwin. The pilot was headed to Los Angeles when he realized he had a problem with the landing gear.

“It doesn’t happen a lot,” said Pehl, referring to Tuesday’s incident. “Planes have mechanical problems on occasion.”

This story was updated around 6 p.m. Wednesday with additional information about the plane.

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