I’d have to be honest with myself on this thinking whether I would select KJAN or KMBO.
I would select the largest airport with the longest runway for a situation of this nature especially knowing KMSP had trucks ready to roll. Obviously in my plane, I don’t need a 10K+ foot runway but room for error always nice.
KMBO, we have a fire department that is not dedicated to the airport so it would be a crap shoot whether rescue services would be “instantly” available. KJAN has a FD ready at all times just for the airport so KJAN would be my airport of source.
I would have selected MSP myself especially if I was already talking to MSP approach.
I would have to agree in the selection of the field…I would definitley like to have the “real” equipment standing by and with some trained FFs for the event as opposed to: billy bob and (if there is someone else) the rest of huckleberry Volunteer FD in their pick up trucks with a skid mounted FF unit.
Gotchya and NOW it makes sense what you say from sitting from my desk.
Though in the “heat of the moment” as I was thinking “what would I do”, I still would elect the airport that will give me the most attention, the quickest without having to circle around. I wouldn’t be thinking in terms of, oh I may be inconveniencing others. Plus, a good chance at MSP, though haven’t looked on a map, I’d be just that much closer to the Mayo Clinic for ER care “if it got that bad” (which as in this case, was a “non event”.
I’d suspect that circling around wouldn’t be a bad idea anyway to not add “fuel to that fire”
Kinda a drag not to have gear which of course enhances short field performance
At that hour I would only land at MSP. It’s attended continuously, and there is emergency personnel and equipment at the field that eat, sleep, and breathe aircraft accidents.
Maybe if it was during the day, and I was empty, and knew of a good repair shop in STP, I’d head there. If I was flying a 135 trip, I would be landing at MSP anytime. If I had non-related pax on a 91 trip, I’d land MSP.
Too many lawyers\feds out there would love to ask you or your estate , “Why didn’t you land at the best equipped airport in the area to handle your situation?” What are you going to say, that you didn’t want to inconvenience anyone, or you didn’t want to pay the ramp fee at Signature? C’mon
Actually, In Allen’s case, a gear-up landing would DEFINITELY close KMBO with only one runway. KJAN would likely be able to continue operations. In that situation, KJAN would be the best of both worlds.
But Jackson, MS isn’t a major hub for a major airline. MSP has two other airports nearby with parallel runways (KFCM & KMIC). While those two airports don’t have ARFF, their nearest Fire & Rescue would hardly be a Billy-Bob operation. They probably would have foam capabilities because they’re near an airport.
I guess If I was going to have a gear-up situation, I’d discuss options and ramifications with ATC to make the best choice for the particular situation.
That’s very considerate of you! ATC would probably suggest MSP, definitely have foam, skin penetrating fire fighting equipment, etc.
I did a precautionary shutdown a few years back, and the approach controllers practically begged us to go to the hub airport, but we were empty and decided to go to our home base airport so we could get the airplane fixed by our guys because a precautionary shutdown is relatively uneventful in a jet. In the debrief we were questioned on why we declined to go to the big airport, and we gave those same reasons.
You would be a better person then me. I would only hope I had a level head enough to think like you do, but knowing how adrenaline “kicks in” for anything other then routine flight…
I would want to take control of the situation and not be looking for charts, flipping through books querying for frequencies to convienence people around me. (Yeah, I know, I can request this from ATC)
I would be more controlling and requesting from ATC what I want as I don’t want to be bumbling around re-orienting my thoughts for a new airport (briefing for runways, configurations, yada yada) IF, and a big IF I have made a decision that MSP would be the best option for me.
The only options I would talk about on the air is with an A&P for troubleshooting options to further the chances of a safe outcome.
Like you said and it makes perfect sense to consider the other airfields around MSP as they likely would be more then adequate for gear ups and I probably would be boring holes in the sky to reduce the fuel on board anyway but if the gear already is not working, I go along the thinking, what else “could be wrong”
My luck would have it (luck already gone south with the defective gear), the fire and rescue for the neighboring airport would be on a call at a Burger King because the cook put mustard on the burger instead of ketchup for a customer who called 911 for silly stuff like this.
In the full scheme of things, I’d much rather put myself on the ground sooner then later (after burning fuel off). This would be my human instincts for this pilot which really is moot for practical purposes as my gear is fixed and welded.
Still good thinking fodder for discussion for me 8)
Just because a fire department is near an airport, don’t expect them to even know how to get there. In a situation like this, you find the nearest airport with the fire department to protect you, and the services to move that aircraft. A smaller airport probably would not have sufficient if any fire protection, or the cranes, airbags, etc., required to remove the aircraft afterwards. Plus most smaller airports’ towers shut down earlier in the night, so who is going to call 911? MSP was probably the only sure choice at that time of night. As for needing foam, we don’t foam runways anymore, it just wastes agent and does very little if anything to prevent a fire, and thats if the plane happens to hit the small spot we foamed. Just land and slide out, then we will deal with the accident once the plane stops.