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Aircraft emergency ends in safe landing at University Park Airport

A flight was diverted to University Park Airport Wednesday after reporting rudder issues.
A flight was diverted to University Park Airport Wednesday after reporting rudder issues. Centre Daily Times, file

A potential emergency ended safely Wednesday at University Park Airport.

It started around 9:40 a.m. when an “aircraft emergency” was reported by Centre County emergency dispatchers.

The incident on approach to University Park Airport involved an aircraft with strange motion, as reported on the scanner.

Emergency responders from companies throughout the Centre Region were called but the incident was resolved when the aircraft, inbound from Philadelphia, landed safely, according to Penn State spokeswoman Heather Hottle Robbins.

“The flight was diverted to University Park Airport after reporting rudder issues. It landed around 9:45 a.m.,” she said in an email. “It was an Air Wisconsin flight from Philadelphia to Milwaukee with 22 people on board. No one is being taken to the hospital.”

The incident comes 11 months after two emergencies just eight days apart in 2016 at the airport.

On June 8, 2016, Joseph W. Breston, of State College, experienced problems when landing his 1989 Glasair SH-2F. According to the report he made to the National Transportation Safety Board, the plane “came down on the runway hard and bounced up” before a crosswind pushed it into the grass. There were no injuries.

The crash on June 16, 2016, was fatal, however. Pilot Gary Orner, of White Oak, and passenger Robert Arffa, a Pittsburgh-area eye surgeon coming to State College to perform procedures, died when the Piper aircraft out of Washington County Airport crashed in a field on approach.

The preliminary report on that incident was released in July 2016, but a final report is expected next month, the NTSB confirmed Wednesday.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce

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