Aircraft Make: LANCAIR
Aircraft Model: LC41
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: Unknown
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Salt Lake City FSDO-07
AIRCRAFT ON TAKE OFF ROLL WENT OFF THE RUNWAY INTO THE GRASS, DURANGO, CO.
A small private plane veered off the runway at the Durango-La Plata County Airport after the pilot suffered a medical emergency on takeoff.
“He was looking to depart, was starting to gain speed and then exited onto the grass safety area,” said Tony Vicari, airport operations manager. “When our fire-rescue crew (Durango Fire Protection District) responded, they found the pilot unconscious. He never got off the ground, which is a good thing, because an in-flight emergency would be much more dramatic.”
Veering off the runway required a call to the National Transportation Safety Board, Aviation Director Kip Turner said.
“But the damage to the plane wasn’t severe enough that they needed to see it in place,” Turner said. The plane was moved away from the runway area.
The airport diverted one flight, United Flight 4770, to Montrose to keep runways clear during the emergency. Originally scheduled to arrive at 3:10 p.m., it was refueling and preparing to return to Durango at 4:20 p.m. The runway is clear and ready for the plane to land, Vicari said.
“Originally, we thought it diverted back to Denver,” Vicari said, “but it ended up in Montrose, and a lot closer. We’re back to business as normal.”
The pilot regained consciousness after paramedics worked on him, and he was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center. Vicari had no further information on his condition.
Original article can be found here: http://www.durangoherald.com