Flights diverted to LAX after plane skids on John Wayne runway

Commercial jet traffic at Orange County's John Wayne Airport was diverted to LAX and Ontario on Thursday after a small airplane skidded along the main runway after landing without its landing gear down.

Seven arriving flights were diverted to Los Angeles International Airport and Ontario International Airport, according to John Wayne spokeswoman Jenny Wedge.

The main runway closed for about an hour after the incident, which was reported  around 10:30 a.m., Wedge said. No injuries were reported. The airport has two runways and serves about 9 million passengers a year.

The plane -- a Beechcraft Baron -- carried only one person, its pilot, Wedge said.

A fire rescue crew used a crane to move the private aircraft, which is not based at John Wayne, to the west side of the airport near its maintenance facilities.

Officials did not know why the landing gear on the small plane did not descend.

The flights that were diverted ultimately touched down at John Wayne in the hours after the main runway reopened at 11:30 a.m., , Wedge said. 


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