Airplane Accident in Columbus; WSAZ Reporter and Producers Aboard

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

COLUMBUS, Oh. (WSAZ) -- Fierce cross-winds and a soaked runway are being blamed for an airplane accident with three WSAZ NewsChannel 3 employees on board.

Pilots landing a Delta airplane at Port Columbus Airport needed every bit of the Ohio airport's runway and more Friday morning.

Charleston WSAZ-TV reporter Brooks Jarosz, along with two producers, were aboard. They had taken the red-eye from Los Angeles.

Jarosz says there was a lot of wind and rain on the approach and the captain hit the runway at a top speed and wasn't able to stop the plane until it hit some grass at the end of runway.

Airport officials say wind gusts were near 30 miles per hour and the pilots overshot the runway.

Jarosz says the pilot warned the ride would be bumpy and as a result, they came in at top speed. A few minutes after the landing, the passengers heard from the captain.

"He told us he went off the runway a little bit. He was coming in too fast and he ran out of a place to go," Jarosz said.

The plane took a sharp left turn at the end of the runway. It sunk into the soggy field.

Jarosz says the plane smashed through the end of runway lights.

"After those lights there's a little more pavement and we used every bit of that pavement and some of the grass before we actually came to a stop," he said.

The passengers were evacuated in groups of 12 while a haz-mat team did a precautionary safety check of the plane.

Jarosz says there were no injuries. He says there wasn't time to get scared.

"We knew there was something wrong but it wasn't until after we were stopped that everyone kind of knew that maybe we went too far here," he said.

Passengers were stuck on the plane for one hour before being bused into the terminal. Airport officials say the runway was shut down for about 5 hours.

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