Cargo plane lands safely after losing engine post takeoff from Hayden airport

Incident didn't cause delays as runway closed for 10 minutes

A Southwest Airlines plane sits on the tarmac at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport in November 2021.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

A cargo plane lost an engine shortly after takeoff from the Yampa Valley Regional Airport on Tuesday night, July 5, but was able to return and land without incident.

The twin-engine Alpine Air plane contracted to United Parcel Service took off around 7 p.m. Tuesday, but quickly had an engine fail, according to Airport Director Kevin Booth. The pilot declared an emergency and turned around to land back in Hayden.

“The pilot did a good job handling the emergency,” Booth said. “Twin-engine pilots are trained to fly on one engine if they need to, and he seemed to do a good job from where I sat and landed uneventfully.”

Booth said airport firefighters met the plane as it landed, but nothing was on fire. West Routt Fire Protection District also responded, but Booth said the crew was told to stand down at the airport’s gate.

When the plane was diverted back to Hayden, Booth closed the runway with air traffic control in Denver and monitored air traffic for any smaller planes in the area. The runway was closed for about 10 minutes, which didn’t interfere with a United Airlines flight from Denver that landed in Hayden around 8 p.m.

“We got the FBO out there with their truck to tow him off and reopened before our next flight came in,” Booth said, referring to Atlantic Aviation, which operates private flights at the airport. “It really had no operational impact other than the initial response.”

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