By Donna McCollum - email
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It was not the way Dee Winston wanted to complete his enjoyable flight around Nacogdoches. As he was coming in for a landing he suddenly discovered the left side landing gear was malfunctioning.
Pictures obtained from the Department of Public Safety show how the turbo prop single engine plane went off the runway. Nevertheless, Winston successfully landed the craft using the right side landing gear. It's all he had.
"No debris," said Mary Uresti, airport manager at A.L. Mangham Airport. "Fortunately, the plane stayed intact."
Airport staff had already left for the day. By the time they got back emergency crews were on hand. The real-life event provided a pretty good test on how prepared they are to handle an airport emergency.
"We're fortunate there was no injuries here, but if there had been any injuries, I'm convinced that somebody would have been right there attending to their injuries immediately," Uresti said.
"When news came the pilot was all right, there was a sigh of relief," Uresti said.
"He was actually very calm, so you wouldn't have known he had just crashed his plane," Uresti said. "He was fine."
The Short Brothers Tacono is the same model used to train fighter pilots in the Royal Air Force. After a landing like this, Winston might can provide young pilots a pointer or two.