by Michael Eckels 

DECATUR — Two flight crew members narrowly escaped injury on June 9 when their single-engine aircraft made a hard landing at Crystal Lake Airport about 1:30 p.m., causing the airport to be shut down for almost two hours.

It is unclear whether it was an instructor and student or the plane’s owner receiving a check ride in the 2018 CubcrafterCC11-150 Carbon Cub SS tandem-seat conventional landing gear (taildragger).

According to local law enforcement officers on the scene, the incident occurred as the small single-engine aircraft was touching down on runway 13 at Crystal Lake Airport when the Carbon Cub, equipped with tundra tires, broke hard, causing the right landing gear to buckle underneath the underside of the front cockpit. After the aircraft lost lift, the right wing hit the ground, causing the plane to veer slightly to the right before it stopped on the right edge of the runway.

The owner of the aircraft had just purchased the Carbon Cub SS a few days before the incident and had just taken possession of the plane after it was flown in from a dealer in Washington State on Tuesday.

Decatur Police secured the scene and airport officials were able to tow the damaged aircraft to a hangar on the southeast end of the airport.

The weather was not reported to be a factor in this incident. The names of the flight crew were not released at the time of the incident.

NOTE: Tundra tires are large 26-inch low-pressure tires that are used on aircraft flying in the backwoods of Alaska and Canada. These tires are capable of landing on grass airstrips, open fields where the conditions are unknown, river banks, and sand bars. The normal operating size for aircraft like the original Piper Cub is eight inches.