Cessna lands on "belly" at Walnut Ridge Airport

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WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. – It was a scary ride for some of the passengers but no one was hurt after a landing gear malfunction Friday afternoon at the Walnut Ridge Airport.

A small, Cessna single-engine propellor plane had an issue with its landing gear not lowering sometime around 1:30 p.m. Friday, said Walnut Ridge Fire Chief Frank Owens. The Walnut Ridge Fire Department responded, along with AET and Medic One ambulance, airport personnel, and even the Hoxie Fire Chief, who was nearby, Owens said.

At close to 1:40 p.m., Owens said the plane made a landing to remember for the occupants. Without a landing gear, the plane skidded on its belly for up to 200 yards, coming to a stop “almost like he meant to do that,” Owens said.

Fortunately, there were no injuries in the incident and everyone involved walked away fine, Owens said.

“The two girls were pretty scared but the pilot seemed like he was fine,” Owens said. “I don’t think that was his first time doing that.”

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