Sterling: Air plane off runway

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Jun 20, 2006
Still in the middle of no where
STERLING — A twin-engine Cessna 421 slid off the runway Thursday evening at Sterling Municipal Airport amid high wind and rain.
The plane’s three occupants reported no injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board is on site investigating today, which is standard procedure for any plane accident, according to SMA Operator Pat O’Brien.

The incident happened around 5:20 p.m. Sterling Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Owens said the plane was coming in from the south and attempting to land when a strong side wind forced it off the runway.

“You could see the skid marks and everything. It just pushed the plane off,” Owens said.

Sterling Police said the wind damaged the landing gear and wheels, causing it to skid on the underside of the fuselage before stopping on the east side of the runway. The plane was chartered out of Colorado Springs, according to police. The pilot has been identified as Tom Jenson, 37, of Colorado Springs. The two passengers were identified by police as Dan Sheriff, 39, and Ryan Sullivan, 44.

Owens said the plane slide-off was about one-half mile from Highway 14, so no vehicles were in danger.
Sterling Fire Lt. Rick Berg said his crew did not find any hazardous fluids leaking from the damaged plane.

O’Brien said it has been about three years since an accident like this has happened at SMA.
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