Emergency Landing Serves as Reminder for Airports and Pilots - WBAY

Emergency Landing Serves as Reminder for Airports and Pilots

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The Door County Cherryland Airport Director tells Action 2 News the emergency landing this week in Oconto is a good reminder that every airport should have a plan if a pilot gets in trouble.

"I pull out my emergency plan every occasion and especially when something like this happens. You review it, look at it, so that you're ready," said Door County Cherryland Airport Director Keith Kasbohm.

During his 24 years at the airport he's seen about one emergency landing a year.

In those situations he says the airport calls 911 so first responders will be on stand by. Then, contacts a local pilot if the plane needs help landing and alerts mechanics if the plane needs fixing.

Pilots too must be prepared. During an emergency pilots are trained to stay calm.

"Its like being a professional sports athlete where you're trained, you've got all those emotions going on, but you know what this is business. We've been here, we've done this before. The goal is to get the airplane on the ground safely," said Jet Air Group Director of Operations Joseph Saunders.

The weather can cause problems. Especially, if ice builds up on a plane's wings. It adds weight and can actually change the shape of the wing while in fight.

"It gets to the point where we can no longer create this flow of air going over the top of the wing and the airplane begins a slow decent. Once we establish a slow decent, at that point, we are unable to maintain altitude and we need to come up with alternatives of somewhere else to land," said Saunders.

Both airports and pilots agree radio communication is key for planning and helping pilots arrive back on the ground safely.

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