Aspen airport reopens after private jet has landing gear trouble
No injuries reported after plane lands safely at Sardy Field; runway reopens at 12:30p.m. after delays, cancellations
The landing gear on a private jet malfunctioned Friday morning at Aspen’s airport, closing the facility for about two and a half hours and causing delays and diversions for other private and commercial flights.
The jet landed safely at 9:54 a.m. before the right rear landing gear strut failed while the plane was still on the runway, which hobbled the aircraft, said Dan Bartholomew, airport director. No one on the plane was injured, he said.
Officials sent an update at 12:30 p.m. that operations had returned to normal.
The jet, which was listing to the right side, remained on the runway during the morning while emergency crews figured out how to tow it out of the way, Bartholomew said. The airport has only one runway, so the facility was forced to close to incoming and outgoing flights, he said.
The airport was scheduled to host an emergency drill Friday, so crews from the Aspen Fire Department, Aspen Ambulance, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and the airport’s fire department were already on hand when the landing gear collapse occurred, Bartholomew said.
“It was very handy (to have those crews on hand),” he said.
Bartholomew did not know how many flights were affected by the closure. He said he did not know how many people were on the jet that malfunctioned.
The jet, a Cessna model 560XL built in 1998, is registered to Wichita, Kan.,-based Devlin Management Inc., according to the FAA records.