Wind: 5 mph
By Lisa Loomis
An Embraer E 110G cargo plane made an emergency landing at Warren-Sugarbush Airport on May 21 after one of the plane's engines was shut down due to a fuel problem. No one was injured.
The Wiggins Airways plane was traveling from Manchester, New Hampshire, to Burlington, according to the FAA when it made the emergency landing at 6:42 a.m. The FAA is still investigating the incident.
The pilot landed safely with the only damage limited to the plane's tires and wheels which had to be replaced after the emergency. The plane sat on the runway at the local airport for several hours until the tires and wheels could be replaced and the plane was towed to the tarmac in front of Parker Aviation. UPS trucks came and unloaded the plane.
Jim Parker Sr. and his son, Jim Parker Jr., watched the plane land and Parker Sr. greeted the pilot when he got out of the plane with "Welcome to Sugarbush" and a handshake. He said that the plane landed from the north on the airport's Runway 22 and said that the runway is rough which likely accounted for the tires getting shredded.
Both Parkers are pilots and both praised the skills of the pilot, Warren Patterson, of Sanford, Maine, in landing the 50-foot-long twin-engine turbo prop plane as a glider under the emergency circumstances.
Parker Jr. said that it was a perfect blue-sky day and the airport was empty. He was outside washing a glider when the plane landed.
Because there is no jet fuel at the local airport, it had to be brought in for the Wiggins plane before it could be flown back to Manchester.
Andy Day, executive vice president of air operations for Wiggins Airways, explained that there was a fuel emergency on one of the engines. Each engine has its own supply of fuel, he said. One engine began to lose power and had to be shut down. The pilot was in contact with the air traffic control tower in Burlington.
"Once he radioed in with that problem Burlington helped him locate the closest airport. It was a good clear day and he could see the airport. The pilot was the only person in the plane. He's a fantastic pilot and he did a fabulous job of getting the plane down safely," Day said.
Day said that Warren-Sugarbush Airport had plenty of runway for the plane to land and then take off on May 25. The runway is 2,575 feet long. Parker Sr. said that the pilot landed the plane with 600 feet of runway to spare. Day said that the pilot landed the plane with one engine shut down and the other on a low frequency setting which was shut off as soon as he landed.
"The Embraer 110 twin turbo prop is a good short-field airplane. It is typically a 19-passenger commuter plane. It had no trouble landing or departing out of Sugarbush," Day said.