The small aircraft crash-landed onto a hill several feet from the airport’s runway at approximately 2:45 p.m., airport Assistant Director Scott Shannon said.
“The pilot made an attempt to land, and some people indicated … that the aircraft bounced when it landed, and it started to porpoise when it landed,” Shannon said. An aircraft porpoises when it first makes contact with the ground but continues to repeatedly bounce up and down.
Following the crash, the pilot told officials that he had experienced a problem with the landing gear, Shannon said. The cause of the crash has yet to officially be determined, though Shannon said no engine failure occurred. No one else occupied the plane.
The pilot, Shannon said, declined to go to the hospital.
Shannon said he did not know any information about the pilot. The Federal Aviation Administration’s registry shows that the plane is registered to Jay G. Close in Versailles under a valid certification, based on the N-number shown near the plane’s tail.
The plane’s propeller showed visible damage, and one of the wheels from the landing gear rested beside the aircraft in the field.
With crews unable to move the plane until the FAA comes to examine the crash scene, the plane remained on the hill Monday night. Though Shannon said he did not know exactly when the FAA would come, he added that the agency usually works quickly and he expected that someone would examine the wreckage Tuesday.
Once that happens, Shannon said, the pilot will be able to handle the matter with his insurance company.
Though Shannon acknowledged that aviation accidents are bound to happen on occasion, he said they are uncommon and that it has been “quite some time” since Frankfort’s airport has experienced such an incident.