Osprey emergency landing sparks Pender Co. fire

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A military plane made an emergency landing Wednesday evening around 8:30 in Pender County.  Now, military officials are trying to determine how to get the Osprey back on base.

Emergency officials say the pilot landed the plane in a swampy area of the Holly Shelter Game Land off Lodge Road.

After hours of repairs, crew members tried taking off with the aircraft, but smashed into swamp mud nose first.

"Exhaust from that attempt to take off actually ignited some grass and brush in the area that was around the aircraft," said Emergency Management Director Eddie King.  "It burned a little less than five acres."

Firefighters and the forestry service worked throughout the night to contain the blaze.  No one was hurt because the shelter is closed to hunters for the season.

According to a statement provided by the Marines, training engine problems began when the plane was at a low altitude.

"One thing this [the situation] enables us to do is make some contacts with some folks over at Camp Lejeune and at New River and to develop standard operating guidelines with the military and county," said King.

Another Osprey crashed in 2000 in the Jacksonville area killing four military personnel.

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