Diners at the Wings Airport Cafe were treated Wednesday to an unexpected air show during the lunch hour.
Steve Sievek, Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport manager, said a Cirrus SR20 single-engine prop plane was attempting to land about noon on Runway 30 when the plane bounced. He said the pilot powered up, tried to abort the landing when he lost control of the plane. The plane veered off to the left and skidded about 1,000 feet.
The plane skidded to a stop about a 100 yards from Sievek's office window.
The airport diners shared a similar view.
Bob Tuil, owner of Wings Airport Cafe, said all the restaurant tables were full at the time, adding, "They were all watching it."
Sievek said the nose gear popped off the plane and the prop hit the pavement. The pilot and a passenger were not injured. There was no fire.
A Mesaba plane, loaded and awaiting takeoff, was holding on the runway for the Cirrus to land.
"It happened pretty fast," Sievek said. "It was a little excitement we didn't need but it could have been a whole lot worse."
The pilot, Bob Whitemore, Minneapolis, wasn't rattled by the mishap.
"It ended up there where it shouldn't have," Whitemore said from the pilot's lounge at the airport.
Whitemore, who flies frequently and never had any previous accidents, said he was on his final approach to Runway 30 when the plane seemed to hit hard. And then when he tried to power back up the plane stayed down and shot across the runway.
"It's fortunate everyone's fine," he said.
Whitemore, a private fire investigator, intended to fly into Brainerd for work and spend about three hours here. "It's not the way I anticipated spending the day."
Damage to the plane -- primarily a bent prop and damaged nose gear -- was minimal, Whitemore said.
Tyler Haschig, a summer intern with Whitemore, also was not fazed by the mishap. "It didn't seem that bad," he said.
KATHI NAGORSKI can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5859.
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