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Air Ambo slides off runway

cj610

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[SIZE=+1]Plane crashes at city airport[/SIZE]
By SCOTT BRAND/The Evening News SAULT STE. MARIE - Falling rain, freezing temperatures and partially frozen slush conspired to claim an emergency airplane as it attempted to land at Sanderson Field early this morning.
According to Sault Police reports, the pilot walked away from the crash without injury. He was immediately conveyed to War Memorial Hospital for a mandatory blood test to determine if there were any drugs or alcohol in his system.
Under federal regulations, the testing is required after any sort of aviation accident. Two other occupants on the plane, believed to be medical personnel who were assisting with an emergency transfer, also escaped unscathed.
Additional reports indicate the pilot was coming in around 2 a.m. today to meet with a Sault Ambulance crew to airlift a local patient from War Memorial Hospital to a downstate facility. Both the pilot and the aircraft had made regular trips into Sanderson Field for similar flights in the past, according to officials.
Slush, snow and ice on the runway surface apparently caused the plane to go into a skid, spinning it into a nearby snowbank.
Sault Ambulance were already en route - delivering the patient scheduled to be airlifted out - when the crash occurred. Sault Firefighters followed shortly afterwards to ensure both that the wreckage did not ignite and to contain any spilled fuel.
Preliminary reports indicate the crash did not rupture the fuel tank, and there was no spillage on the airport property. Despite that relative good news, extensive damage to the undercarriage of the craft and a collapsed nosewheel have led those who are knowledgeable with such things to speculate the 1972 Beech A100 owned by Ascension Aviation of Gaylord will be totaled.
This appears to be the second time that an incoming emergency plane has seen its flying days come to an end with a final, hard landing at the city airport.
In February of 2001, a Cessna Citation 500 owned by Marlin Air Inc. of Belleville met with a similar, although far more dramatic, fate when it was unable to stop on the ice covered runway. The jet slid off the end of the runway, down an embankment, crashed through a fence and came to rest near Turn #4 of the I-500 Snowmobile Race Track.
The four occupants during the 2001 crash sustained minor cuts and bruising.
Sanderson Airfield was closed to any incoming or outgoing air traffic following the early morning crash. Airport Manager Darien Neveu said the plane remained at the crash site as of 10:30 a.m. this morning, awaiting visits by both the owner and federal officials.
Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration were expected to visit the city airport as part of a customary investigation into any accident involving an airplane.
Neveu indicated that a crane would likely be brought in to remove the downed plane from the airfield with the owner of the craft bearing the responsibility, financial and otherwise, for clearing the wreckage.
 
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