DISASTER was averted at Gloucestershire Airport when a pilot and passenger escaped without injury after a light aircraft made a crash landing yesterday.
Emergency services were called to Staverton after the wheel of a four-seater aircraft collapsed and skidded on grass by the landing strip.
Airport bosses were called by the pilot of the Pioneer 400 as one of its wheels failed to extend on preparation for landing. The aircraft flew over Staverton so staff could assess the undercarriage of it.
Firefighters, paramedics and police were called to back up the airport's fire crew to help with the emergency landing.
Despite extensive damage to the aircraft, both pilot and passenger walked away unscathed.
The Air Accident Investigation Bureau will now be examining what went wrong.
Mark Ryan, director of Gloucestershire Airport, said: "We received a report that there was an undercarriage fault on the aircraft and so carried out a controlled landing.
"It was five miles away and it was 10 minutes before the plane came in, at about 10.20am.
"We fortunately do not get this type of event often, but we are trained to deal with this type of thing.
"Both the pilot and the passenger were uninjured, but we had support from the local authorities and there was an outstanding response to it.
"We practice for this type of incident on a regular basis and we were incredibly pleased with our response."
A spokesman for Great Western Ambulance Service said paramedics were on standby.
He added: "There were no injuries called to the passengers and fortunately no one needed checking over."
Gloucestershire Chief Fire Officer for the county service, Jon Hall, added: "Fortunately, on this occasion the pilot was fully aware of the problems with his aircraft, but our crews were ready to assist if the emergency had called for it.
"This was a great example of the joint work and training we do regularly with the fire team at the airport.
Cabinet member for community safety, Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, said: "This incident has helped to highlight just how responsive and prepared for any emergency the fire and rescue service is.
"Thankfully no one was hurt, but it's reassuring to know that the county is in safe hands."