Thursday, April 14, 2016

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N5376P: Incident occurred April 13, 2016 near Tucumcari Municipal Airport (KTCC), Quay County, New Mexico

Date: 13-APR-16

Time: 16:30:00Z
Regis#: N5376P
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA24
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: None
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Albuquerque FSDO-01
State: New Mexico


Ronald Beyers stands next to the tail of his Piper PA-24-250 Comanche.

Bernadette Beyers speaks with New Mexico State Police Officer Joshua Silva after she and her husband Ronald were forced to land their plane in the median. 

Interstate-40 traffic was a bit more congested than usual on Wednesday morning. An Indiana couple landed their single-engine airplane on the median about 15 miles west of Tucumcari, after losing power.

“This was the first landing without power for the both of us,” said Ronald Beyers.

“It’s also the last time, I hope,” said Bernadette Beyers.

Ronald Beyers said he was focused on landing the plane in the dirt median between the eastbound and westbound highways and he did not notice if there was any other traffic.

New Mexico State Police reported there were no injuries related to the incident.

The couple was flying to their home in West Lafayette, Indiana, from Mesa, Arizona, when their Piper PA-24-250 Comanche lost power.

“We were about a mile north of I-40,  said Ronald Beyers, who was piloting the plane.

He said he was flying as usual when he and his wife lurched forward in their seatbelts and the engine stopped.

He said he switched fuel tanks and turned on the booster pump but there was still no power to the plane.

“At that point, I began surveying the area for a possible place to land the plane,” Ronald Beyers said.

They began their descent shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

By the time Quay County Sheriff’s Office deputies and New Mexico State Police troopers arrived on scene, the  Beyers were unharmed and walking around the plane.

“It all happened so suddenly,” Bernadette Beyers said. “I’m just so grateful that we are both OK.”

She credited the safe landing to her husband’s experience as a retired Air Force pilot who earned the rank of colonel. Ronald Beyers served for 26 years.

Ronald Beyers said he called out a “may day” distress, advising authorities of his plan to land the aircraft on the interstate.

Officials early Wednesday afternoon were still on the scene, awaiting the arrival of officials from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Ronald Beyers said the plane will have to be hauled from where it landed.

Original article can be found here:

Around 11 a.m., a Piper PA-24-250 Comanche plane landed in the median on I-40 about 6 miles west of Tucumcari at Mile Marker 319 and everyone walked away. Quay County Sheriff Russell Shafer:

The median is about 60 feet wide. The pilot, who is in his 60s, has had extensive background which no doubt helped to keep the situation from becoming a disaster; he previously flew in the Air Force and as a commercial pilot. 

The pilot and his wife were the only passengers in the 4-seater plane. No emergency response was ever requested.

At this time, the plane is still in the median, and they are working on removing it.

Story and audio:

TUCUMCARI, N.M. (AP) – Authorities say a Piper PA-24-250 Comanche plane made an emergency landing on Interstate 40 in eastern New Mexico.

State Police say no one was injured during the incident late Wednesday morning near Tucumcari and no damage was reported.

Circumstances of the emergency landing aren’t immediately known.

The plane was moved into the highway’s median until it can be removed.

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