Slick runway a factor in rough landing

Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

RIFLE – A slick runway was determined to be a factor in the rough landing at Garfield County Airport on Friday that caused $15 million damage to a privately owned Falcon 900 jet.

There were no injuries to the three people on board, which included two pilots and a flight attendant.

“It was a large jet that went off the runway,” said Brian Condie, airport manager at the Garfield County Airport in Rifle. “It was landing downhill, and the runway was slick because it was raining.”

The airport allowed a few other jets to land and another jet to take off, but then closed operations until 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Condie said. The problem landing occurred at about 9 p.m.

The Garfield County Regional Airport expects to see an increase of aircraft landings and takeoffs in April and May while the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport is closed. The Aspen airport will close at 11 a.m. on April 9 for a 60-day runway rehabilitation project.

“Typically April and May is our slow season,” Condie said. “So it will be the same traffic as it normally is the rest of the year.”

The Garfield County Airport normally sees about 2,000 or more flights per month and about 2,400 flights per month during its busy season ” between December and January.


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