NEW KNOXVILLE – While high activity at the Neil Armstrong Airport is welcome, Airport Manager Ted Bergstrom said the unexpected failure of a plane’s landing gear resulted in a call to emergency services.
At the Auglaize County Airport Authority meeting Tuesday night, Bergstrom described a July 22, 2:30 p.m. landing, when the aircraft brakes became engaged and burned through its tires after touchdown. He said once the tires burned through the inner tubes popped before the aircraft rolled to a stop on the runway.
The Auglaize Sheriff’s Office was contacted to request support from New Knoxville’s police and fire departments to assist the airport remove the aircraft from the runway, which was closed from 2:20 until 5:20 p.m. while the aircraft was secured by cables to plate steel and pulled off the runway by a NKFD fire truck.
No injuries were reported and no additional damage occurred to the aircraft. Damage to the runway was limited to the tire marks and scratches made by the chain used to drag the aircraft. The aircraft remained at the Armstrong airport until July 27th while waiting for tubes and tires replacements. He added that the pilot never ended up going to Oshkosh.
In general, Bergman said Oshkosh inbound and outbound traffic to the airport has been steady, with at least six aircraft landing for fuel while headed to Oshkosh and five landing at their airport while returning from Oshkosh.
Bergstrom also reported the agricultural sector has been having a very busy season with the wheat and corn growing conditions and humidity. As a result, he said July through August, roughly 10,300 gallons of Jet A have been sold to support the industry. He added they are anticipating an active cover crop season once corn is down.
He said charter activity from business aviation is remaining strong. Four corporate jets arrived on July 14 for local business and personal travel. The airport is still averaging two or more jet charters per week.
In other business, the airport manager said Baumer Construction was about to begin work on Hangar E and are now waiting for good weather. He added Tom’s Pro Painting had applied the final two coats of white paint on Hangar F with trim paint being worked on now.
A tenant reported a roof leak to the airport manager, leaving stained water on top of the right wing of their aircraft. Inspection of the roof found to be largely intact although they caulked three possible leaky screw heads.
In regards to fuel delivery, Bergstrom said scheduling truck time ahead of anticipated need has eliminated problems getting fuel. He said while split loads are not preferred from a cost standpoint, they have eliminated any sort of fuel shortage for the airport.
Airport Authority Bookkeeper Mark Howe reported the July checking account balance of $183,462 was down by $30,679 from the same time last year. He added the accounts receivable balance stood at a healthy $39,937.
His report showed July 100 low lead fuel sales were $14,381, up by $8,498 from 2020 and Jet A fuel sales also increased, with $34,938 in sales, up by $19,211 at the same period last year.
Other expenses were $2,500 for fireworks for the Terminal Grand Opening and $6,950 for the purchase a runway ground sweeper.
Finally, the ACAA agreed to raise the cost Jet A fuel to $3.89, up from $3.75. In requesting the increase, Bergstrom said the cost for fuel had increased by 8 cents since July.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.