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Two walk away from plane crash at Centralia Airport with apparent minor injuries

Two walk away from plane crash at Centralia Airport with apparent minor injuries

Photos and story by Tim Ferguson

A twin-engine, 1978 Piper PA-44-180, registered to Airgo, Inc. of Centralia, flipped over and crashed while trying to make an emergency landing at the Centralia Municipal Airport around 7:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Both occupants, believed to be a student pilot and instructor walked away from the accident, but were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital by Life Star ambulance for non-life threatening injuries.

Tentative reports indicate that the landing gear indicator lights in the plane were malfunctioning and did not show all landing gear down and locked.  After circling around 45 minutes to burn off fuel, they were told from the ground to attempt a landing in the grass beside the runway and flipped over on the plane’s top while trying to land in the wet grass.

Centralia city firefighters and police, Central City Police and Wamac Police all responded along with Life Star.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will be notified and will make a complete investigation into the crash.

Overturned Airgo plane following crash landing. Photo by Tim Ferguson.
Centralia Firefighters look over an overturned plane that crash-landed in a field off the runway after developing possible landing gear problems. Photo by Tim Ferguson.