When veteran pilot Dick Martin guided his plane in for a landing Wednesday at Lawrence Municipal Airport he forgot one very important thing.
He didn't drop his landing gear.
Martin, 72, was not hurt. He said he was more embarrassed than anything. After all, it was the first time he'd damaged a plane since he started flying in 1962.
When the plane started dragging on the runway Martin said he let out an expletive and then just rode it out.
"I'm a pretty calm guy," he said. "I just let her skid along the ground. There wasn't a whole lot I could do about it after that."
Martin said he was returning to Lawrence from Miami County. He was flying on instruments because of the overcast skies. His approach to the airport was a little too fast and too high. He was listening to a Kansas City air traffic controller and making adjustments when he forgot to lower the landing gear.
"That's pretty stupid," he said.
The plane came to a stop on its flaps and its curled propellers. Martin has a second plane but he said he intends to get the damaged one fixed.
"Somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000 will fix it right up," he said.
Similar landing incidents are rare at the airport, airport manager Lloyd Hetrick, of Hetrick Air Services, said. He didn't see Martin's rough landing. The Federal Aviation Administration requires such accidents to be reported, Hetrick said.
The airport does not have air traffic controllers on site.