A damaged plane is towed from a runway Saturday afternoon at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport in Auburn. The interim airport manager said part of the landing gear collapsed on touchdown but the pilot, whose name was not released, was not hurt. Joaquin Contreras/ Sun Journal

AUBURN­ — The pilot of a two-seater airplane escaped injury when part of the landing gear collapsed on touchdown at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport on Saturday afternoon.

His name was not released.

Interim airport Manager Betty Ann Sheats said the landing gear on one side of the single-engine Sonex Sport aircraft bent as it touched the runway and eventually collapsed. The wood propeller was also damaged.

The pilot, who was alone, was not hurt, she said.

The aircraft was new to the pilot, although he regularly flew into the airport, Sheats said.

Auburn Police and Fire departments were at the airfield at the time conducting a training exercise on a defunct aircraft and responded immediately. The runway was closed for an hour before the aircraft was towed away by airport staff and the runway was cleared, Sheats said.

Portland air traffic control was immediately notified.

“We will use this as a learning experience,” Sheats said. 

The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into the incident.

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