Small private plane skids off Yeager Airport runway, investigation underway

CHARLESTON, W.Va.¬†—¬†Emergency responders were on the scene Wednesday evening after a small private plane skidded off the runway while taxiing at Yeager Airport.

The incident happened around 5:30 p.m., when a Cessna-421 G-Model six-seat plane was taxiing and skidded off track.

“Towards the very end of the taxi-way, the aircraft abruptly went off into the grass to the right of the taxi-way,” explained airport spokesman Mike Plante. “That’s unusual because to turn onto the runway you turn left. It went to the right of the taxi-way to the right and all three wheels got stuck in the mud.”

Plante said neither of the two passengers on board were injured, and no apparent property damage was reported.

“The FAA will investigate what happened and determine if what happened was mechanical issue, pilot error or a gust of wind,” Plante said. “It could be any number of things this time. There’s no official explanation for why the aircraft departed the taxi-way and ended up on the grass.”

Heavy equipment was brought out to move the aircraft back onto the pavement of the runway, said Plante. He described the incident as one that was highly unusual.

“Normally if something happens it’s on takeoff or landing. This was on taxiing,” he said. “Until the FAA comes out with findings on what happened we won’t really know. It’s the first time in my memory that we’ve had something like that happen up there.”

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