Bellingham International Airport closes following landing gear mishap

A small, twin-engine private airplane had a hard landing at Bellingham International Airport Thursday, Sept. 26, causing one of its landing gear to collapse, airport officials said.

The airport closed for almost two hours while the aircraft was removed from the runway, Port of Bellingham Aviation Director Sunil Harman told The Bellingham Herald.

From a picture provided by the Port of Bellingham, it appears it was the left, rear landing gear that failed during the landing.

Fire crews from the Port of Bellingham, Bellingham Fire Department and North Whatcom Fire and Rescue responded at 12:21 p.m., Bellingham Fire captain Dave Pethick told The Herald.

The three occupants of the plane, including the pilot, were evaluated at the scene, Pethick said, but none were transported to the hospital.

Harman said the runway reopened at 2:20 p.m. after the plane was removed. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation and Safety Board first had to clear the scene before the crews could pull the aircraft off the runway.

Harman said the plane was a Piper Seneca and that any fuel spillage from the incident was “minimal.”

No commercial departures were delayed, according to the Bellingham International website, while Allegiant flight 736 from Palm Springs was supposed to arrive early at 1:33 p.m. but was delayed until the airport reopened.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.