Emergency Landing Saves Crippled Aircraft

The new engine awaits installation as workers try to remove the damaged one.

The new Fixed Based Operator (FBO), Winslow Air, has taken over and is on its way to providing new services for people who land at the airport.

One of the new services Winslow Air offers is an in-house mechanic, which came in handy recently when an aircraft flying near Winslow had to make an emergency landing.

On September 8, a 1952 Martin, one of the first airliners used in the fledgling commercial transportation industry, had to land in Winslow when one of it’s two engines quit working. Upon impact with the runway, one of the tires blew out adding to the already difficult situation of landing a plane with only one engine.

The plane, which belongs to the Pima Air & Space Museum, had to remain in Winslow until an engine could be found to replace the damaged one.

On Monday, October 1, the replacement engine showed up. Chuck Osborn, of the museum, along with a team of mechanics, journeyed to Winslow to make the repairs.

Airport worker Steven Martinez said it took the team about two hours to unhook all the cables, hoses and wire connections that supply the engine. Reconnecting the 130 connections had to be done before the new engine could function.

A crane was also brought in to help remove the 2,500 pound engine.

The plane was flown by Eastern Airlines when it was first built. When it was replaced by newer models, the plane was then gutted and used as a grasshopper sprayer in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.

While the plane was waiting for three weeks to get repaired, a cat climbed up into the wing and gave birth to a litter of kittens. It was reported that the mother had moved her children to another location and were no longer in any danger.

The plane was repaired and a few test flights were conducted before it left Winslow to return to Tucson on Friday.

According to Winslow Air manager Kerry Craddock other services provided by the FBO include a charter service. People can rent airplanes plus a pilot for their travel needs.

Flight instruction will also be provided so that people interested in learning to fly can work towards receiving their pilot’s license.

Airplane painting will also be offered at the airport, along with required federal aircraft inspections.


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