East Texas pilot makes risky landing, walks away from it

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas airplane pilot makes an unexpected belly landing and walks away from it. It happened at the Rusk County airport around two this afternoon. The plane slid a couple hundred feet before coming to a stop. 76 year old Tommy Strong was on final approach and doing a textbook landing with his grandson onboard, a landing he's made hundreds of times.

"I was showing my grandson [going] downwind 120 miles per hour, wheels down, showed a green light, and the best thing I can think is that I must have raised the wheels instead of putting in the extra 20 degrees flaps," says Strong. "I don't think he knew anything was wrong until I said Blake we just made a wheels up landing, the plane landing perfectly came to a perfect stop. I love flying I have absolutely no fear even after this."

FAA officials are investigating the plane which was towed off the runway. Strong and his grandson were not injured in the landing.

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