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The pilot of a small airplane contacted the Hot Springs Airport Control Tower and advised that his landing gear was malfunctioning. The Tower Troops call the Hot Springs Fire Department and everybody went into emergency mode.
HSFD Flight Line Fire Troops deployed from Station #4 which is on Airport Road at the Entrance to the Airport Complex. The first unit to arrive was the special airplane firefighting truck that stays on the airport property.
Hot Springs Police arrived quickly and provided security for the emergency landing. A LifeNet Crew soon arrived, everybody got into position and they waited. The troubled airplane made a pass above the runway and people on the ground could see that the landing gear configuration did not look correct.
The plane finally lined up on the runway and touched down appropriately enough with the 2 wing wheels, but when the pilot slowed the plane, the nose dipped and struck the ground. The front landing gear was still up at touchdown.
The plane immediately began to slow it’s speed and slid on it’s nose like that for what looked to be at least a couple of hundred feet. The HSFD Airplane Fire Truck was the first vehicle up to the plane once it stopped. The truck blew something at the airplane that looked like a cloud of thick, white fog that quickly evaporated. I did not see any smoke or fire and none was reported that I am aware of.
The word was quickly passed that the pilot was ok. There was no mention of any passengers that I am aware of.
That particular runway was closed for at least 30 minutes.