ETX pilot makes emergency landing with control tower’s help - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

ETX pilot makes emergency landing with control tower’s help

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Tyler pilot Newt Farrar made an emergency landing at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport Tuesday morning.

"It was a very unusual sound that I heard taking off so I knew something was wrong," Farrar said.

Farrar has been flying for more than 30 years. His first instinct was to call the control tower. Tyler Air Traffic Manager Floyd Munroe was inside the tower when Farrar's call came in.

"He requested to return for the tower to take a look at the aircraft as he did a fly by," Munroe said.

Farrar was able to fly close enough for controllers to see what was wrong.

"The nose gear was … think about it as a car and you can see the axle without the tire," Munroe said.

Tyler Pounds Regional Airport officials say no one was injured, but the incident could have been a disaster. Emergency crews responded but Farrar was able to land safely.

"It's certainly the first time any landing gear has fallen off the aircraft, hope that doesn't happen again," Farrar said.

He also hopes the control tower at the Tyler airport doesn't close, "It would not be a positive thing for safety if they close these towers down. It's great to have the extra eyes and brains helping you in situations like this."

Airport manager Davis Dickson said Tuesday's incident shows how important control towers are, "The air traffic control tower was our first point of contact between the airport and the pilot that needed help."

Munroe hopes the control tower stays open for personal reasons, "It would play terribly on my conscience if I knew eight months down the road we had an incident out there that maybe a controller could have intervened."

Dickson says there were commercial flights going on at the same time as Tuesday's emergency landing. He says, without the control tower, the pilots of the various aircrafts would have been left to negotiate the incident on their own.

The airport is still searching for ways to fund the control tower if FAA funding stops. The FAA recently moved the funding cut-off date for Tyler's control tower to June 15.

Dickson says TxDOT has offered to provide a grant program to fund the tower for the first 90 days after FAA funding stops.

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