Ocala firefighters use different set of skills after plane makes belly landing

Ocala Fire Rescue crews scrambled at the Ocala International Airport last week after receiving a call for an aircraft emergency.

Crews from Ocala Fire Rescue were called to help lift a plane that was forced to land on its belly after its gear failed to deploy last week at Ocala International Airport.

Firefighters soon discovered that a 1966 Mooney 20E single-engine airplane had been forced to make a belly landing after its landing gear failed to deploy. Everyone had exited the plane safely with no injuries but the plane’s owner still needed the fire department’s help.

Since the aircraft was immovable from its spot on the south end of one of the airport’s runways, the owner asked if firefighters could use airbags to assist in lifting the plane, which was connected to Ocala Aviation Services.

Tower 1 and a battalion chief were then called to the scene and with cribbing, airbags and additional tools, crews were able to stabilize the plane and create room to access the landing gear compartment. The plane was then safely removed from the taxiway.