Only on 10: Pilot forced to make hard landing in Smithfield

Only on 10: Pilot forced to make hard landing in Smithfield. (WJAR)

A pilot was forced to make a hard landing at the North Central Airport in Smithfield.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. Saturday at the airfield on Jenckes Hill Road.

NBC 10 News spoke with another pilot who saw the entire thing unfold.

"I was in the traffic pattern landing at North Central,” said Jon Pascua, an EMS/firefighter in Coventry.

And that's when Pascua noticed the plane in front of him flying extremely low.

"We have a set allotment of 1,000 feet in a traffic pattern we should be following when we descend and we get close to the runway but he was just like over the trees,” said Pascua. “I knew something wasn't right with him and probably a few seconds later we noticed he's totally turned the wrong way—the runway's facing this way and his plane is perpendicular to the runway and he actually bounced a couple times and it took his landing gear off, smashed his prop.”

Pascua said his instincts kicked in.

"I called and let everybody know the runway's closed, a plane crashed, that I'm going to shift runways to a different runway so I can get on the ground and as soon as I got the plane on the ground I went over and checked on him and he was find and his passenger was fine."

Pascua explained that the type of plane that made the hard landing is not your typical small plane.

"Normally our planes are made out of metal--steel, aluminum--things like that: Cessna's and pipers. But some of them are kits and this was a fabric plane. It's basically a steel frame but it's wrapped like in a fabric and it's painted and seasoned to be able to deal with that stuff but it's extremely light and very susceptible to wind."

"And it's just a testament to how much training we get and things that we have to do to overcome disaster and he did a great job of landing the plane and there's damage but he's good," said Pascua.

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