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Plane skids off runway at Hummel; no one injured

by Tom Chillemi

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk II that skidded off the north end of Hummel Field on Saturday, August 29.  (Photo by Linda Chenery)
These skid marks, stretching more than 200 yards, were photographed on Monday, August 31 by Tom Chillemi.
A single-engine airplane skidded off the north end of Hummel Field’s runway Saturday night, August 29 after an aborted take-off, said First Sergeant Kevin Barrick of the Virginia State Police.

No one was injured in the 9:54 p.m. incident at the county-owned airport at Topping.

According to First Sgt. Barrick, four students from the University of Richmond were in the Cessna 172 N Skyhawk II piloted by Zachary D. Stewart, 20, of Ridgewood, N.J.

According to police, the plane was attempting to take off toward the north. The plane barely lifted off from the runway when it stalled and went back on the runway moving at a high speed. The pilot locked up the brakes and it skidded more than 200 yards. The plane came to rest just off the end of the runway with about half of it in a cornfield.

The incident was investigated by the FAA on Sunday. The plane, owned by Wing Nuts Flying Club of Chesterfield, was flown back to its base airport on Sunday after two tires were replaced.

An experienced pilot at Hummel Field said Saturday night’s high humidity may have contributed to the take-off problem.

posted 09.01.2009

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