Boston flight to Owls Head ends with bump

By Lynda Clancy | Mar 02, 2012
A Cessna 402

Owls Head — The nose gear on a Cape Air Cessna 402 collapsed just after touching down late Friday morning, March 2, at the Knox County Regional Airport.

There were no injuries and the eight passengers, plus the pilot, were evacuated after the small plane came to a stop approximately 600 feet from where it landed, according Jeff Northgraves, airport manager.

Winds were light at 4 knots at 11:05 a.m. as the scheduled flight from Boston eased in over the waters of South Thomaston, and tracked toward Runway 03, heading in a northeast direction.

"Just after touching down, the nose gear collapsed," said Northgraves. The marks on the runway indicate that pilot Scott Ollis maintained the Cessna on a controlled path for 600 feet as he slowed the aircraft from a speed of approximately 100 knots and came to a stop, said Northgraves.

"All were fine," he said. "No one seemed to be too dazzled."

There was minimal damage to the nose of the aircraft, aside from the collapsed wheel, said Northgraves. The propellers took the biggest brunt of the impact as they hit the concrete.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were contacted, and an FAA representative was at the airport this afternoon investigating why the wheel collapsed.

Ollis has returned to Boston, said Northgraves.

Owls Head and South Thomaston fire departments responded to the airport; however, they were immediately sent back to their stations as the plane was evacuated with no incidents.

Cape Air, with headquarters in Hyannis, Mass., is owned by Hyannis Air Service Inc., which also owns Nantucket Airlines. According to the company, Cape Air flies more than 650,000 passengers annually with up to 850 non-stop flights per day and 130,000 flight operations each year. Cape Air serves 39 destinations. It is an employee-owned company with 850 employees.

The Cessna 402 seats six to 10 passengers.

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