WORTHINGTON The airplane that crashed after touchdown at the Ashland Regional Airport Sunday has been parked in a hangar, where it will stay until the Federal Aviation Administration decides on what investigative steps to take, according to airport officials.

The single-engine Rockwell Commander appears relatively unscathed aside from its propellor, both blades of which are severely bent from when it hit the runway.

The pilot walked away unharmed from the crash, which happened when the front landing gear collapsed, according to airport worker John Stines.

Marks on the runway show where the pilot touched down with fully functioning main landing gear, and where the still-spinning propellor dug grooves into the tarmac when the front gear collapsed and the nose of the plane suddenly dropped. The plane then veered to the right and rolled and skidded further down the runway before coming to rest near the edge.

Crashes are a rarity at the airport, director David Mansfield said. The airport is for general aviation — mostly small private and commercial craft — and doesn’t have its own fire or emergency squads, so when a crash does happen airport workers call 911, he said.

Local police and fire units arrived at the scene in about five minutes, other airport observers said. Kentucky State Police took command of the accident scene.

The plane didn’t leak any fuel, Mansfield said.

FAA records show the plane is registered to New Rides, a Portsmouth auto dealership. Registration records show the plane was made in 1976.

The owner could not be reached for comment.

“The guy got his pride hurt, that’s all,” airport worker Steve Riffe said. “But he walked away from it so it was a good crash.”

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mjames@dailyindependent.com

Mike James is The Independent's education reporter. He has covered news in Northeast Kentucky since 1996.