Easton Airport management wants to reassure residents that the skies above Talbot County remain safe, despite recently experiencing the rare coincidence of having two aircraft accidents occur locally within a month of each other.
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (www.bts.gov) approximately 1,200 general aviation accidents occur annually nationwide. That rate is far lower than automobile travel and is a statistic that covers a wide-variety of issues.
“The United States operates the busiest and safest airspace system in the world,” Easton Airport Manager Micah Risher said. “I have been in the aviation industry since 1993, and, over the course of my career, between the technological advances and modernization of the system, it’s become even safer to fly.”
The most recent incident in Talbot County occurred on July 16, 2021 when a small twin-engine aircraft made an emergency landing in a field near Enniskillen Road, just south of the Tred Avon River. The flight originated at Lee airport in Annapolis and the plane was operated by the Navy Annapolis Flight Center.
The July 16 aircraft incident was not related to the accident that occurred on Technology Drive in Easton on June 24, 2021. Pilots involved were from different flight schools, and the flights originated from different airports.
Initial reports suggests that the aircraft suffered engine failure in both cases. Investigations are still being conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board to determine the specific causes of each accident.
Easton Airport has a network of trained personnel who work closely with pilots, ground teams, and the various government agencies to maintain the highest safety standards. Flight patterns and procedures at Easton Airport adhere to all federal and state regulations.
Easton Airport’s Air Traffic Control Tower is staffed daily with professional controllers. They oversee the flight operations to ensure aircraft arrive and depart safely, and in an orderly and efficient manner. Radar is used to track aircraft, observe altitudes, and provide landing sequencing information.
Pilots must train and practice loss of engine procedures. They have protocols they follow to work through the issue and attempt to land the aircraft while minimizing potential negative impacts.
Airport staff ensure that Easton Airport’s ground infrastructure and navigational aids are maintained at the highest level of care and readiness. The entire airport community works together to ensure the safety of the operation.
“You can never mitigate all of the risk out of the operation, but I want to ensure the community that safety is the highest priority for all operations at Easton Airport,” Risher said.