Katie Drucker
Eagle, CO Colorado

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November 17, 2009
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Military jet skids on Eagle County runway

EAGLE, Colorado - The nose gear of a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft collapsed upon landing at Eagle County Regional Airport, Tuesday at around 11:30 a.m. The reason for the malfunction is not yet know.

The HU-25 Falcon jet from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi slid about 1,000 feet before stopping, said Kris Friel, communications director for Eagle County.

The crew of five was conducting high-altitude training operations at the time of the incident, Friel said.

No one was injured in the incident.

The airport is open but its sole runway is closed. At least one commercial flight had been delayed as a result of the incident, said Friel.

Additionally, Regional Hazardous Materials Assessment of Eagle County - a multi-jurisdictional hazardous materials response team - will examine the scene, Friel said.

A camera on board the plane has a lens coating that is classified as a hazardous substance, but county officials do not believe there is a hazardous materials concern at the site, Friel said.

Crews are now working on getting the aircraft off of the runway and checking for debris. A Coast Guard team was expected to arrive at the airport between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday night to figure out how the plane will be moved.

Eagle County airport is paying to have CME transport passengers tonight from Denver International Airport to Eagle County. As many as 38 people may take advantage of the offer and CME has given the county a reduced rate, Friel says.

The airport expects to resume normal operations by Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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The VailDaily Updated Nov 17, 2009 07:38PM Published Nov 17, 2009 03:45PM Copyright 2009 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.