Accident closes YVRA for hours |

Accident closes YVRA for hours

Alexis DeLaCruz

— An airplane blew a tire upon landing at Yampa Valley Regional Airport on Thursday, causing the airport to close for three hours. The incident grounded a Delta flight and forced a United Express flight to return to Denver.

YVRA Public Safety Director Tyler Whitmore said a private Cessna Citation jet was flying into the airport from Illinois at about 1 p.m. when the pilot, C.G. Therkildsew, began to feel a “shimmy” in the plane’s front landing gear. Therkildsew slammed on the brakes, and the plane’s left tire blew out, forcing the aircraft to the left side of the runway. The plane’s landing gear got stuck in mud, causing the aircraft to stop about three-quarters of the way down the runway.

Two passengers from Illinois were on the plane at the time of the accident. No one was injured as a result of the incident, Whitmore said.

The runway was not damaged.

However, the accident closed the runway for about three hours while Whitmore and another airport employee worked to remove the disabled aircraft.

A Delta flight that was scheduled to leave at about the time of the accident was grounded, and a United Express flight operated by Mesa Airlines that was supposed to land at YVRA was forced to return to Denver.

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Whitmore said he had not received any complaints from passengers affected by Thur–sday’s accident.

“When you close that runway like that, it does cripple us for a while. We can’t have anyone coming or going,” he said. “But I haven’t received much fallout, which is a good thing.”

Whitmore said the pilot was not cited for the incident. YVRA employees are repairing Therkildsew’s plane.

— To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboat