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  • File photo
    This file photo from Aug. 17, 2010, shows a Beech A36 piloted by a Rhode Island man that had made a crash landing at Boire Airfield at Nashua Airport. No one was injured. Photo by Scott Patton. The plane crashed Thursday, Oct. 25, near I-93 in Hooksett, reportedly killing two people.
  • File photo
    This file photo from Aug. 17, 2010, shows a Beech A36 piloted by a Rhode Island man that had made a crash landing at Boire Airfield at Nashua Airport. No one was injured. The plane crashed Thursday, Oct. 25, near I-93 in Hooksett, reportedly killing two people.
  • A Beech A36 piloted by a Rhode Island man made a crash landing at Boire Airfield in Nashua Tuesday afternoon. No one was injured. Photo by Scott Patton.
  • File photo
    This file photo from Aug. 17, 2010, shows a Beech A36 piloted by a Rhode Island man, before it made a crash landing at Boire Airfield at Nashua Airport because its landing gear would not go down. No one was injured. Photo by Scott Patton. This plane crashed Thursday, Oct. 25, near I-93 in Hooksett, reportedly killing two people.
  • File photo
    This file photo from Aug. 17, 2010, shows a Beech A36 piloted by a Rhode Island man that had made a crash landing at Boire Airfield at Nashua Airport. No one was injured. Photo by Royce Rankin, Jr. The plane crashed Thursday, Oct. 25, near I-93 in Hooksett, reportedly killing two people.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No one hurt; Man had trouble with Beech Bonanza A36’s landing gear

NASHUA – A Rhode Island man had to crash-land his small plane at Boire Field on Tuesday afternoon after the plane’s landing gear malfunctioned.

The Beech Bonanza A36 piloted by Herman Hassinger, of Block Island, R.I., was traveling an estimated 70-75 mph when its belly touched down on the 5,500-foot runway.

It skidded about 700 feet before coming to a rest, according to Royce Rankin Jr., Nashua Airport manager.

Hassinger noticed a problem with the plane’s landing gear when he tried to land at his home airport in Rhode Island and decided since he has the maintenance on the plane done in Nashua, to divert to Boire Field, Rankin said.

Around 12:30, control tower personnel activated the “crash phone” to alert the nearby Nashua Fire Rescue station as well as Nashua police and Rockingham Ambulance, which all responded to the airport, Rankin said.

Hassinger eventually had to land on the belly of the plane.

Infinity Aviation, one of the two companies that lease space from the airport and offer plane maintenance and pilot lounges to private pilots, have done the past two annual inspections on Hassinger’s plane, Rankin said.

In his almost 20 years at the airport, Rankin said he can remember seven or eight other “irregular” landings there.

An initial inspection of the plane showed that a bent rod prevented the left landing gear assembly from locking in the down position.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector will make an official determination today, Rankin said.

Landing without landing gear isn’t all that risky. Rankin likened it to blowing a tire on a busy highway.

“It’s probably worse getting a flat tire on a busy highway,” he said.

Hassinger was alone in the six-seat, single-engine plane and was uninjured. The runway was cleared in about two hours, Rankin said.

The plane is registered to Herman Hassinger Architects and was first registered March 10, 2004, according to Landings.com.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com.