By Floyd Ingram
HOUSTON – A private plane crashed on landing and then caught fire at Houston Municipal Airport on Wednesday morning, causing only minor injuries.
A two-engine 1996 Windstream Beechcraft owned by Quality Iron of Houston was attempting to land when it was apparently hit by a gust of wind, lifted to one side and hit the runway. The airplane then did a ground roll and slid into a ditch on the south side of the runway.
The pilot and four passengers on the plane made it out as the aircraft caught fire. The plane had just made a jump from Memphis to pick up a passenger in Houston, and its next stop was Louisiana.
“We had a little bit of a problem putting the fire out because water doesn’t mix with aviation fuel,” said Captain Jonathan Blankenship of the Houston Fire Department. “We ended up getting a foam additive and putting that in our tanks, and that solved the problem.”
The accident occurred about 8 a.m., and firefighters had the fire out at 9:05. Emergency crews left the scene about 9:30.
“I was coming in on runway two-one and when I touched, we were hit by severe wind-shear,” said pilot Dan Campbell. “I’m OK and I’m just thankful everyone else is OK.”
Campbell said the FAA was slated to be in Houston about noon and would conduct its investigation at that time.
Two passengers were treated for minor injuries, one a head injury and the other a pulled back, at Trace Regional Hospital in Houston.
Houston Airport Manager Jack Lewis said he was pleased with the response.
“The fire department and ambulances got here very quickly,” said Lewis. “This could have turned out very different.”