TOWN OF OCONTO – The FAA says a twin engine Beechcraft Baron traveling from Rochester, Minn. to Menominee, Mich. made a hard landing at the Oconto Airport.
Oconto County authorities had originally said the aircraft was a twin engine Cessna.
Around 3:30 Thursday, Oconto Fire-Rescue crews rushed to the scene after learning the pilot had trouble because of the rain and snow.
Plows cleared the runway just before the plane landed.
“They called us out at first just to help him identify the landing strip, and then he had some icing on his wings, it sounded like he had some trouble landing, and that’s how he ended up where he is,” said Oconto Fire-Rescue Chief Jack Mlnarik.
The plane came down hard on its landing gear, breaking the gear and causing the plane to skid off the runway on its belly.
The five people on the plane all survived. Three were hospitalized with minor injuries. It’s still unclear whether the trip was for business or personal reasons.
Authorities say the pilot did a good job preventing what could have been a worse situation.
“We were very fortunate that there was no fire or sparks. The gentleman did an excellent job keeping it where he did and making sure that everybody on this plane was able to walk away like they did,” Mlnarik said.
Shelly Rosenfeldt is glad to hear that. She says she was shoveling snow when the plane flew over her house. She knew something wasn’t right.
“I could hear the plane, planes go by here all the time, and it just came in really low, it was just really low and really loud,” said Rosenfeldt.
A couple minutes later she heard sirens and saw the ambulances and fire trucks go by.
“I’m like that plane went down I know it did,” Rosenfeldt said.
The hard landing extensively damaged the plane.
The airplane will remain at the airport overnight and will be examined Friday.