MOUNT VERNON — The plane fire Saturday at the Knox County Airport left no one injured; however, the heat of the fire did damage to the airport’s runway.
The Cessna 172 plane — which caught fire in the air, requiring the plane’s pilot to make an emergency landing — quickly burned after it was on the ground Saturday afternoon, reported Christopher Cordle, chairman of the Knox County Airport Authority.
Cordle told the News that, as part of the airport’s emergency protocol for an aircraft accident of any type, they call 911 to alert the appropriate authorities to the accident. In this case, it was the Mount Vernon Fire Department, along with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol. A representative from the FAA was then called to conduct a more thorough investigation.
Once the “OK” was given, said Cordle, airport workers were able to clear the rubble from the runway to assess the damage. The runway remained closed through Sunday for finer rubble removal and damage assessments as well.
With plane fires, it is common for the tar in the asphalt to melt, Cordle explained, so parts of the runway where this happened will need replaced.
The runway will remain closed while repairs are done, which Cordle added should be completed this week.