Cessna 310 with nose gear failure

Prospect Heights FPD photo

From the Prospect Heights FPD:

Call came in at 12:15 p.m.

Report was an aircraft having with trouble landing gear on nose of plane. For this, we send a Stand By assignment. The vehicles and personnel report to pre-assigned locations at the airport and wait for further information from the Air Traffic Control Tower. A standby occurs when the pilot believes there may be an emergency once a landing is attempted such as in this case of having to eventually land but perhaps with the landing gear not working as intended.

Aircraft was a Cessna 310 twin-prop with two persons onboard, pilot and passenger.

Aircraft remained in flight for more than one hour using up fuel.

While the incident began at 12:15, the aircraft did not land until almost 2:00 p.m. This was a safety precaution (to use up the fuel and ensure conditions were best possible).

Initial response was:

·       Two specialized Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicles, one from Prospect Heights and one from Wheeling

·       Two battalion chiefs, one from Prospect Heights and one from Wheeling

·       One ambulance

·       One engine

Once it was determined that in fact there were two persons on board and that the landing would be made without confidence in the landing gear, one additional ambulance and one tanker were requested. Both PHFPD and Wheeling fire chiefs and deputy chiefs also responded.

Due to the anticipated length of the incident, off-duty Prospect Heights and Wheeling firefighters were paged to come in and fill in their respective stations until the on-duty personnel cleared the airport.

The plane landed on runway 12/30 and came to a full stop on the runway with the nose of the aircraft unsupported as shown in the attached photo.

Neither the pilot or passenger were transported to a hospital for care.

The airport is jointly owned by the City of Prospect Heights and the Village of Wheeling. Both fire departments operate a joint response with unified command for any aircraft incident. Unlike homes or businesses, there are not streets that easily define the municipal boundaries. Many times an aircraft incident may begin in one municipality and travel into the other. For more than 20 years this joint response has worked well and produced positive results.

Prospect Heights FPD ARFF unit

Prospect Heights FPD photo

Prospect Heights FPD ARFF unit and tender 9

Prospect Heights FPD photo