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Crash landing

Published August 05. 2010 05:00PM

The pilot of a small, twin-engine plane that made an emergency landing Tuesday at the Carbon County Airport in Mahoning Township was not injured.

Police in Mahoning identified the pilot as Keith Anderson, 54, of Valley View Acres Drive, Lehighton.

Anderson told police he was the only occupant in the plane.

Township Chief of Police Kenneth Barnes said that at about 6:36 p.m. police were dispatched by the Carbon County Communications Center to the Carbon County Airport for an airplane crash with no injuries. The dispatcher informed police that a Federal Aviation Administration investigator was en route and to secure the aircraft.

Barnes said police officers arrived at about 6:45 p.m. and initially spoke with a crew chief, who reported the accident occurred about an hour prior to their arrival. The crew chief told police that the aircraft was already moved off the runway and into a hangar.

Police officers observed in a hangar a bi-engine plane with front end damage and damage to the left propeller.

The officers were approached by Anderson who stated he was not hurt.

Anderson told police he took the bi-engine airplane for a routine service flight two hours prior to his landing and when he attempted to activate his landing gear, his front nose gear failed to respond.

After several failed attempts to activate this landing gear, Anderson and his ground crew decided to land the plane without the front nose gear deployed. Anderson stated he touched ground at 6:15 p.m. with minimal damage to the aircraft and no injuries to himself.

Officers asked Anderson and ground crew members when the decision was made to crash land the aircraft and why emergency crews were not dispatched. Barnes said they were told there was no need to contact emergency services "because these type of things happen all the time."

The FAA investigator arrived on scene at 7:37 p.m. and took over the primary investigation by inspecting the aircraft and questioning the pilot and ground crew. The FAA investigator's report and finding will be turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The FAA investigator requested a portable breath test be conducted on Anderson to check for any alcohol consumption.

Officer Tyler Meek administered this test and the results were negative.

Also responding was Officer Elliott Miler, as well as the Mahoning Valley Fire Department.

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