January 26, 2012, could have been deadly for a commercial small plane pilot and his passenger who had planned a quick from Suffolk, Virginia (VA), to Cambridge, Maryland (MD). Fortunately, both George McClellan of McClellan Aviation Services and Jesse Johnson Jr., who is the husband of Suffolk’s mayor, walked away uninjured from their crash landing at Suffolk Executive Airport.
According to WAVY-TV 10, the men’s twin-engine, six-seater plane experienced mechanical problems with its front landing gear that kept the nosecone wheels from deploying. As the following video shows, a gentle touchdown and a level-headed decision to burn off as much fuel as possible before attempting the emergency landing prevented both injuries and a fire:
As a Virginia Beach, VA-based personal injury attorney whose law firm has represented plane crash victims, I know that equipment failures due to poor design, manufacture and maintenance are a leading cause of crashes that leave pilots and passengers injured and dead. What exactly caused the landing gear to stick for the Suffolk men remains under investigation. If a product defect or negligence by a third-party hired to keep the plane in good repair is found, the plane’s owner could have grounds for filing a claim to receive compensation for property damage.