Updated February 7, 2013 at 5:23 p.m.
Steamboat Springs A plane made an emergency landing at Yampa Valley Regional Airport on Thursday a day after a plane ran out of gas after landing at the airport.
On Thursday afternoon, firefighters from YVRA staged near the runway as a private plane came in for the emergency landing. Airport Manager Dave Ruppel said the plane had taken off from the Steamboat Springs Airport, where the pilot and plane are based. After taking off, the pilot had problems controlling the plane. Ruppel said the pilot could not get the nose of the airplane to come down, so the plane’s altitude could not be maintained. The pilot declared an emergency but was able to land the plane safely and taxi it off the runway.
Ruppel said a mechanic discovered the issue was caused by a map holder in the plane that was interfering with a control.
The other incident at YVRA occurred when a pilot cut it a bit close Wednesday night after the plane he was flying ran out of gas just after landing, Ruppel said.
Emergency responders first were informed about a possible aircraft emergency at 6:18 p.m. Wednesday. Ruppel said the plane was bound for Steamboat Springs Airport but was unable to land because of weather and was diverted to YVRA in Hayden. The plane made a powered landing at YVRA but ran out of gas while taxiing off the runway. The runway was closed momentarily, but the pilot was able to restart the plane and taxi off the runway.
“The whole process only took a few minutes,” Ruppel said.
The pilot’s night became a little more eventful while driving away from the airport. Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said he contacted the man after his car subsequently slid off the road.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com