Scottsdale City Councilman Bob Littlefield and his co-pilot on Saturday landed a small airplane without its landing gear deployed at the Scottsdale Airport, causing damage to the underside of the plane and shutting down the runway for two hours.
Littlefield and co-pilot Joe Saineani, of Phoenix, were uninjured. The pair landed the twin-engine Diamond Aircraft Twinstar about 1:30 p.m. The disruption closed the runway and taxi area of the airport for about two hours, according to Scottsdale police.
Littlefield, a certified flight instructor, was practicing “touch and goes” with a student pilot when the incident happened as they were taking off and landing, according to Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the incident.
Gregor told the Tribune this morning that no distress call was made to the airport’s flight tower, but the incident was something that just happened during the instruction.
“It’s pretty rare for a plane to land without its gear, but it’s not unheard of,” Gregor said.
Gregor said he was aware that Littlefield has a lot of flight experience with his flight ratings and also is an airframe mechanic, but said when a student is flying with a flight instructor, the instructor is responsible.
No damage was caused to the runway, police said, and Gregor said that the plane has been removed from the area.
Littlefield could not be reached for comment this morning.
More details will be provided on evtrib.com as they become available.