Alaska News

Plane skids off Merrill Field runway; no injuries reported

A small plane skidded off the runway after a hard landing at Merrill Field airport Saturday afternoon, according to the Anchorage Police Department. The incident led to the closure of one of the airport's three runways, but none of the five people onboard was hurt.

At 2:19 p.m., the Lake and Pen Air plane "hit the runway hard" while landing and bounced, according to the APD release. The pilot then attempted to abort the landing and take off again, but the engine stalled and the plane skidded. It hit a median and lost its landing gear before coming to a stop, the release said.

An Anchorage Fire Department dispatcher said about 3 p.m. that the fire department was no longer at the scene and that all occupants had been removed from the plane safely.

No one answered the phone at the airport manager's office Saturday afternoon. A man who answered the phone in the airport's control tower wouldn't answer questions, saying a reporter was forbidden from calling the tower.

An employee who answered the phone at Spernak Airways at the airport said that one of Merrill Field's three runways had been shut down. But he added that it didn't appear to be a big deal -- just "an expensive deal," he added.