Burning plane overshoots runway

Flights out of Leeds-Bradford Airport were halted for two hours on Monday 7 June, after a private jet burst into flames and overshot the runway. The plane, a Cessna Citation, was expected in France later that day, but wound up smouldering by a perimeter fence.

The incident is one of several to occur at Leeds Bradford Airport in the last 30 years. In 1985, a British Midland Airways – better known as budget airline, BMI – plane skidded off the runway during wet weather. Then, in 2005, an aeroplane owned by defunct Spanish carrier, LTE, lost its brakes during landing. The plane eventually landed safely, albeit in a field to the side of the runway.

Fortunately, very few people have died in accidents at Leeds-Bradford, and Monday’s incident was no exception: both the pilot and co-pilot were hauled from the wreckage by a Yorkshire fire crew, escaping with minor injuries. Airport bosses have opened a full investigation into the mishap, however.

The West Yorkshire Fire Brigade explained that the plane’s starboard engine had caught fire during takeoff. The brigade’s website indicates that fire engines attended from three different towns – Idle in Bradford, and Cookridge and Rawdon in Leeds. The airport was closed to traffic from 17.50 to 20.00, while crews worked to remove the wreckage.

The fire brigade is not the only emergency service with links to Leeds Bradford; the Yorkshire Air Ambulance was recently offered discounted landing fees by airport bosses, in a bid to keep the charity’s yellow helicopters at the site for another year. Tony Hallwood, director at Leeds, professed to be ‘committed’ to local charities.

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