'Mishap' at Detroit City Airport, fuel spill fear resolved
Detroit — A personal twin-engine plane attempting to land at Detroit’s City Airport on Tuesday morning ran off the end of the runway, necessitating a concern about the fuel still in the plane, which was resolved hours later, authorities said.
The incident took place around 8:30 a.m. at Coleman A. Young Airport on Detroit’s east side. Dave Fornell, deputy commissioner of the Detroit Fire Department, said the department confirmed there were no injuries.
“It was more a mishap than a plane crash,” Fornell said initially.
Airport director Jason Watt in a statement said a pilot and co-pilot with no passengers aboard had taken off from Willow Run Airport in Sumpter Township near Ypsilanti.
Flightaware.com, which tracks flight information, says the plane, N469RJ, was to take off from City Airport in the 10 a.m. hour en route to an airport in Bardstown, Kentucky.
That flight was to last about an hour. A return trip to Detroit, and back to Willow Run, was scheduled for the afternoon. Flightaware.com says the plane is owned by an Ypsilanti-based company, Business Jet Managers.
A staffer for the company said he could "neither confirm nor deny" the plane's involvement in the incident.
Authorities blocked off Conner near the airport, Fornell said, so the fuel leak could be safely addressed. But after noon, with consultation between the Detroit Fire Department, the Federal Aviation Administration and the plane manufacturer, "it was decided to put water into the engine, to flood the engines out," Fornell said.
"We set up a ladder truck and fired water into both of the engines," Fornell said. "It worked, and shut them both off. Kind of unconventional, but nobody was hurt, and everything is mitigated."
The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA will investigate, Watt said.