500 Terminal Drive, Naples, FL
A small twin engine plane with landing gear trouble crashed at the Naples Airport this afternoon.
No one was injured in the crash.
According to City of Naples Fire-Rescue Chief Stephen R. McInerny, at 4:50 p.m., a white with blue stripe twin engine, six-seat 1973 Piper Navajo Panther took off from the Naples Airport headed to Tampa Executive Airport.
As the plane departed, the pilot noticed that the landing gear failed to properly retract and stow.
“He notified the tower that he had an indication of a landing gear issue and requested a fly by for the tower to take a look,” McInerny wrote in an email. “The tower confirmed that he did have a gear problem and the fire-rescue department was alerted at approximately 4:53 p.m. We responded Crash Fire No. 3, Engine Co. 9, Engine Co. 2, Rescue 2, Tower Ladder Co. 2 and Battalion No. 1 for a total of 13 personnel under the command of Battalion Chief Pete DiMaria.”
The pilot readied his passengers and circled back to the airport for an emergency landing on Runway 32 headed west and coming in from the east.
When the pilot touched down and the gear collapsed, McInerny wrote.
“The left engine propeller impacted the runway and the plane skidded off into the grass at Taxiway Charlie 1. There is moderate to heavy damage to the underside of the plane, both propellers and the landing gear that collapsed,” wrote McInerny.
The FAA National Reporting Team out of Miami has been contacted, he wrote, and they will follow-up on the accident with the Naples Police Department which was also at the scene investigating.
“We are currently working at this moment with airport officials in using our high-pressure air bags to lift the plane so that it can be removed without spilling fuel,” he wrote.
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