April 17, 2011
A California Air National Guard cargo plane made a safe, but rough landing Sunday at the Colorado Springs Airport because of a problem with its rear landing gear.
The C-130J aircraft — the newest model of the venerable propeller airplanes — landed about two hours after crew members reported a malfunction with one of the wheels.
Smoke rose from the plane as it landed on the east runway of the airport shortly before noon Sunday, the result of broken hydraulic lines, said Maj. Kimberly Holman, spokeswoman for the 146th Airlift Wing.
The aircraft suffered “significant damage” around the broken landing gear, but the bulk of the aircraft was undamaged and the crew of five walked away unscathed, Holman said.
John McGinley, assistant director of airport operations and maintenance, said the plane would remain on the runway until late Sunday night or early Monday morning, as investigators work to figure out what went wrong.
"As soon as we get that aircraft off the runway, we’ll be able to open it right away,” McGinley said.
The plane was on a training mission in the area, practicing flying over drop zones and landing on a gravel runway, Holman said.