Missoula Emergency Agencies Race to Airport for Jet in Trouble
Missoula Police, Sheriff, City and Rural Fire along with Frenchtown Rural Fire crews responded to the Missoula Airport just after 11:00 a.m. on Thursday for a report of a private jet with a landing gear malfunction.
KGVO News spoke with Airport Director Brian Ellestad following the incident who provided details.
“We had a general aviation private jet that had some landing gear issues,” said Ellestad. “They radioed ahead and asked for us to be on emergency standby until they got their gear down. They got lucky and the aircraft landed without incident.”
Ellestad provided more details of the incident.
“I think they manually had to put their gear down and the gear stayed locked,” he said. “They just landed without incident, so in about 10 to 15 minutes we were making sure everything was safe. They didn't leave any damage to the runway or anything but after they landed they inspected the gear and then taxied off the runway and went off to maintenance and we (the airport) reopened.”
Ellestad said thanks to the quick reaction to the emergency call, the situation was resolved in just a few minutes.
“The pilots went through their checklist; they performed, got the gear down made sure it was locked and then landed without incident,” he said. “Our local police and fire (departments) responded along with several mutual aid departments for which we were very appreciative.”
Ellestad said it was a tense few minutes.
“It was just probably 10 minutes or less is my sense,” he said. “None of the other operations were actually affected so no airplanes had to circle (the airport) to my understanding so luckily it just hit at the right time and nobody else was affected.”
The airport resumed normal operations. There were no injuries reported and no flights were delayed due to the incident.