WMU News

WMU aviation student, instructor walk away from failed landing

September 29, 1998

MARSHALL, Mich.--A Western Michigan University aviation student and his instructor walked away from a failed landing attempt Monday at Brook's Airfield in Marshall.

The incident occurred at about 5:30 p.m. while student Christian Meridian, a licensed single engine pilot from Allen Park, Mich., attempted to abort a practice landing in the twin-engine Piper. The pilot opened both throttles, but only one responded. The instructor then landed the aircraft on the airfield with the wheels up.

While the aircraft suffered substantial damage according to Joseph Dunlap, director of the School of Aviation Sciences, Meridian and Bechtel walked away uninjured.

The instructor and student spoke with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials via telephone shortly after the incident. Officials from the FAA's Grand Rapids office are scheduled to investigate the Brook's Field site on Tuesday.

"We were extremely fortunate to have the outcome that we did," Dunlap said. "We will be conducting our own investigation and will be looking carefully at the results of the FAA investigation."

For more information, media representatives should contact Dunlap at (616) 964-4744.

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