One of Air Spray’s four-engine L-188 Electras had a problem with its landing gear June 22 and had to make an emergency wheels-up landing at Red Deer Regional Airport in Alberta.
Red Deer News Now reported that according to Graham Ingham, CEO at the airport, the incident happened around 12:20 p.m.
“We had an Air Spray air tanker, an Electra-type aircraft, perform an emergency landing due to the fact it couldn’t get its main landing gear down. After a couple of attempts, they decided that it would be safer to do a wheels up landing, and subsequently they did. Thankfully they came to a complete stop. There were no injuries, no fire and it was the best outcome for everyone.”
Mr. Ingham said two pilots and two other people on board walked away from Air Tanker 490 without any injuries.
The video below shows what looks like an excellent landing, considering the circumstances.
The cause of the landing gear problem has not been released.
Other firefighting aircraft have had landing gear problems:
- Minden’s Tanker 48, a P2V, experienced a hydraulic failure June 15, 2014, resulting in the nose gear collapsing while it landed at Fresno, California.
- On June 3, 2012, only one main landing gear and the nose gear were able to be lowered and locked on Minden’s Tanker 55, a P2V, leaving one main landing gear up or not locked while it landed due to a hydraulics issue.
- On August 17, 2014 a Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) C-130 air tanker experienced a hard landing. The crew detected a potential malfunction with the nose landing gear and executed an emergency landing at Hill Air Force Base near Ogden, Utah. It landed without the nose gear extended.
- An Air Attack plane, a Cessna 337, had a malfunction with the landing gear August 8, 2018 requiring it to make a wheels-up landing at the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport in Idaho.