FULTON COUNTY – An apparent electrical issue led a pilot last month to make an emergency landing at the Fulton County Airport, where the plane skidded on the runway after its landing gear failed, according to a National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report on the incident.
The pilot, the only person on board, escaped without injury and no one else was injured in the March 2 incident.
Fulton Countys sheriff’s officials have previously indicated that the preliminary investigation pointed to mechanical and electrical issues as the cause and indicated smoke had entered the cockpit.
The preliminary NTSB report, however, provides some more detail on what led the pilot and plane to Fulton County.
The incident happened the morning of March 2. The pilot of the Cessna P210N had departed from Burlington International Airport en route to North Carolina. About 30 minutes after climbing to 10,000 feet, the pilot reported hearing “an unfamiliar buzzing or humming noise” that became increasingly louder, the NTSB wrote.
The pilot attempted to troubleshoot, then opted to divert to an airport along his route. He then smelled “electrical fumes” and saw the smoke in the cockpit.
He told the air traffic controller what was happening and that he wanted to divert to an even closer airport, the Fulton County Airport.
The pilot opened his window, descended toward the airport and landed.
“During the subsequent landing roll, the landing gear collapsed,” the report read. “The pilot attempted to maintain control; however, the airplane skidded on the runway and tipped to the left.”
The pilot later reported that he visually verified the landing gear was down, but he did not verify that the gear status light was green before landing.
The pilot also indicated that a mechanic had examined the airplane and noted that the circuit breaker for the hydraulic pump had popped and a hose near the pump was partially melted. They then proceeded to remove the pump, the report read.