A restored, World War II era German single-engine airplane ran off the end of a runway at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport on Wednesday afternoon, but the pilot, the only person on the plane, was not injured.
The pilot, who was not identified, told authorities he was having engine trouble earlier in the day but had fixed it, said Anthony Marino, the airport director. However when he tried to take off in the plane later in the afternoon, the problem cropped up again and he had to abort the takeoff.
The plane ran down runway 13, which ends at Plank Road, and ran into the engineered mechanical arresting system designed to stop any type of plane from running past the end of the runway and on to Plank Road, Marino said.
“It’ll stop a 767. It’ll stop any kind of aircraft,” Marino said.
The system is like a block of concrete that sinks when something rolls onto it, Marino said.
He said he hopes to get the plane removed Wednesday night so he can reopen the runway. In the meantime, air traffic was being diverted to the airport’s other runway.
Baton Rouge firefighters were called out to the airport, but the call was canceled before they arrived.
Some of the responders, however, did get close enough to see the damage.
“Some of my guys said they could see the plane and said it’s up on its nose with the back fin in the air,” Monte said.