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Television Stunt Helps Plane Land Safely

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Feb 11, 2005
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northern Nebraska Sandhills
Television Stunt Helps Plane Land Safely

By: Greg Mehochko Posted at: 07/16/2005 11:41 AM

McCOOK, Neb. (AP) - Special skills on the ground and in the air prevented what could have been a disaster on a runway at the McCook Regional Airport this week.

The problems began when the landing gear on a red-and-white Cessna refused to descend and lock in place.

Red Willow Aviation owner Griff Malleck got the idea from a stunt he had seen performed on television to put two men in a pickup, speeding along side the plane, who would use a hook to lock the gear in place.

It took ten passes around the airport for the stunt to work.

On the tenth pass, two men crouching in the back of the pickup traveling 90 miles an hour snagged the landing gear with a pike pole and yanked it into place.

Pilot Jim Hagert and mechanic-passenger Krent Townsend of Danbury landed safely on the next pass.

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