BY DAVID RASBACH

A wind gust Monday morning is being blamed for flipping a small airplane with two occupants upside down on the main runway at  Bellingham International Airport.

Port of Bellingham spokesperson Mike Hogan told The Bellingham Herald that the two male occupants of the single-engine plane were both out and walking around by the time emergency vehicles arrived on the scene. They were checked out by paramedics and transported to the General Aviation terminal.

The incident occurred shortly after 11 a.m., Hogan said, when an aircraft identified in emergency radio broadcasts as a Cessna 172 tried turning onto Runway 34 at Bellingham International Airport for takeoff. The pilot told emergency responders the plane was hit by a gust of wind, lifting it and causing it to flip over onto its wings along the left shoulder on the south end of the runway. 

Air traffic was forced to hold until the FAA gave clearance to remove the plane from the runway, Hogan said. A tweet from Bellingham Airport at 12:45 p.m. said the runway was re-opened.

According to National Weather Service instruments at the airport, winds at 10:53 a.m. were out of the north-northeast at 23 mph and gusting to 33 mph.

The plane’s tail number (CF-HGQ) is linked to a 1974 Cessna 172 owned by Thomas Edward Ostrow, according to flightaware.comAccording to the FlightAware app, which tracks air traffic, the plane arrived at Bellingham International from Vancouver, B.C., at 10:17 a.m. Monday.

https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article226764214.html