CORPORATE JET INCIDENT CLOSES GNV RUNWAY OVERNIGHT AFFECTING FLIGHTS
GAINESVILLE, FL June 7, 2016—The main runway at Gainesville Regional Airport was closed overnight after a corporate jet landed and ended partially off the runway and stuck in the mud. The Cessna Citation jet came in during heavy rains just before 11:30pm on Monday night. There were two pilots and one passenger on the jet, but no one was injured during the landing.
Gainesville Fire Rescue’s Air Rescue and Firefighting units were quickly on the scene. However, due to damaged landing gear, a crane crew was later called in to assist a team from University Air Center as well as airport operations and maintenance in removal of the plane. The Citation weights about 14,000 pounds. The jet was cleared from the runway shortly after 8am Tuesday morning.
At least two Atlanta flights were diverted to Jacksonville Airport. A 50-seat regional jet due in about 11:30pm diverted due to the jet blocking the runway. However, the first diversion of a Delta mainline 100-seat aircraft actually began around 9:30pm and was due to weather in Gainesville. The pilots were waiting out the storm before continuing on to GNV. But the flight was delayed further due to the jet incident. The regional jet flight was eventually cancelled and the mainline jet was rescheduled for 9:30am Tuesday morning. It is unclear how many passengers found alternate routes to Gainesville overnight.
All of American Airlines’ flights from Charlotte and Miami had arrived safely prior to Monday’s incident. However, two early morning departures were delayed about three hours until the runway was cleared.
The jet has been stored in a secure hangar pending investigation of the incident by the National Transportation Safety Board.