Biplane lands in Pungo soybean field as precaution after engine issue


PUNGO — A pilot flying a Waco biplane landed in a soybean field on Thursday, July 28, after the aircraft experienced an engine issue while it was returning to the Virginia Beach Airport, a private facility that is home to the Military Aviation Museum.

“There were no injuries other than to a couple of beans,” said Mike Potter, director of the museum, during a telephone interview on Monday, Aug. 1.

Two people were aboard the airplane, and no injuries were reported, according to an email statement released on Monday, Aug. 1, by Jim Peters, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency is investigating the incident, he added in his email.

Peters wrote that the aircraft’s engine stopped running while it made its final approach to land at the airport at about 2:30 p.m. The airport is located on the 1300 block of Princess Anne Road near Gum Bridge Road. 

In an interview, Potter said the pilot landed as a precaution roughly a mile southeast of the runway. Potter said the pilot was among the most experienced at the airport.

The open cockpit biplane is one of the aircraft that offers paid rides, he said. 

Though the museum is known for its fleet of historic World War I and World War II aircraft from around the world — restored and maintained at the Fighter Factory, a facility at the airport — the biplane in question was built in 1989 and is a modernized aircraft.

© 2016 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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