A pilot took a hard landing at the Mackay Airport last Wednesday, according to Airport Manager TJ Park, causing the plane to flip over as it was slowing down.

Custer County Sheriff’s Deputy Shade Rosenkrance was called to the airport at about 2:30 p.m. and reported the pilot was not injured. The single-engine, 900-pound Piper Cub he was flying suffered minimal damage, Rosenkrance said, and was upright when the deputy arrived.

Park wasn’t at the airport when the accident occurred, but he said a nurse driving on U.S. Highway 93 witnessed the incident. The nurse saw the pilot make a couple of attempts to land, according to Park, until he ultimately failed. The nurse rushed over to see if the pilot was OK and called emergency responders, Park said.

Ken Day was one of the EMS providers called to the accident. One of the wheels under the wings caught in some soft dirt, Day said, and the plane’s forward momentum made it flip over.

Rosenkrance arrived at the airport about 15 minutes after the ambulance crew.

“I was there for safety and communication with the FAA,” the deputy said. “Basically I was the middle man.” Rosenkrance called Federal Aviation Administration investigators and turned the accident over to them.

As a sheriff’s deputy and the Custer County search and rescue coordinator, Rosenkrance said he doesn’t see many plane accidents at the Mackay Airport.

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