by: Nancy Asiamah

ORANGE, Mass. (WWLP) – Two people were on board a plane that skidded off the runway at the Orange Municipal Airport early Friday evening. 

According to Orange fire officials, the pilot and passenger of the plane were not injured, they exited the aircraft before help arrived.  

Just after 6 p.m., Shelburne Control Dispatch received calls about a four-seater Mooney plane that had skidded off the runway and landed on the fuselage. All on-duty and off-duty personnel were called in to assist. 

The pilot told officials the plane’s landing gear did not lower while trying to land, prompting a controlled landing “bellied in” without using the landing gear. Crews spent hours stabilizing the aircraft using cribbing and airbags.  

They also helped a tow company remove the aircraft from the runway.