Pilot and passenger unharmed after landing gear failure at Talkeetna airport

A pilot and his passenger were unharmed when a small plane's landing gear apparently malfunctioned during a landing at the Talkeetna Airport on Saturday, authorities said.

Alaska State Troopers received a report of a plane crash at the airport about 1:43 p.m. A red and white 1947 North American Navion airplane was on its belly on the runway, said Cathy Gagne, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board in Anchorage.

Pilot Peter Askeland, 78, and his passenger Merle Askeland, 68, both of Eagle River, walked away without injuries, Gagne said. Peter Askeland told troopers that the landing gear collapsed as the plane was landing.

Gagne said it's not clear whether the landing gear folded up under the plane or simply didn't deploy. She also said it appears the plane received minimal damage.

The NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration were both notified of the crash. Gagne said the incident doesn't currently meet the criteria required for the NTSB to investigate, though that could change pending further mechanical inspections.



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