Landing-gear malfunction, fuel spill at Horseshoe Bay airport being probed; no injuries reported

HORSESHOE BAY — A pilot and his family escaped serious injury after the aircraft’s landing gear collapsed, damaging their plane and causing a fuel spill, officials said.

The episode occurred about 2:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Horseshoe Bay Resort Airport, according to police. The accident at the airstrip is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

PHOTO: Horseshoe Bay police say a plane accident Sept. 7 at Horseshoe Bay Resort Airport is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration. No serious injuries were reported to the pilot, his wife and son after one of the landing gears collapsed. Courtesy photo

Officers said 54-year-old pilot Randell Vinson of Abilene, who is a part-time Horseshoe Bay resident, told investigators he attempted to land and "heard an unusual thump sound leading him to suspect a problem with the gear."

His wife and son also were aboard the 2010 single-engine Socata airplane, according to Police Chief Bill Lane. No injuries were reported.

"(Vinson) said that all of his gauges indicated landing gear lock-down and he proceeded to touch down," Lane added in a prepared release.  "After landing he reversed his propeller as a part of a routine landing procedure to slow the speed of the aircraft and the right side landing gear collapsed."

The pilot told investigators he "immediately locked down the brakes to attempt to

control the speed and to try to control the path of the aircraft to avoid

collision with any ground objects."

The landing caused damage to the gear, and the plane came to rest in a parking area on the west side of the airport, the report stated.

Firefighters rushed to the scene to contain the spilled fuel from the accident, officials said.

The FAA interviewed Vinson by phone, then authorized the pilot to have an aviation repair company make temporary repairs so the plane could be stored in one of the hangers. Federal officials are expected to make an on-site inspection Sept. 10, Lane said.

The small airport is located just off Clayton Nolen Drive.

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