Two commercial flights to Durango-La Plata County Airport were delayed late Sunday morning after a glider had an incident on landing that closed the runway for about 1½ hours.
Tony Vicari, aviation director, said the glider pilot, whom he believed was a male, was uninjured during the landing at 11:15 a.m. The pilot declined medical treatment from the airport’s Aircraft Rescue Firefighting services and a unit from the Durango Fire Protection District, Vicari said.
The glider was damaged on landing and tipped on its side, and that forced the closure of the runway for 1½ hours to secure the site and preserve evidence to report to the National Transportation Safety Board, Vicari said.
The closure of the runway forced a departing United flight to wait for 1½ hours until the runway was reopened. It also forced an arriving United flight to be diverted to Montrose.
Vicari said when the runway reopened the flight diverted to Montrose was able to takeoff from that airport and land at DRO after a more than 1½-hour delay.
La Plata County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Steve Reiter said a deputy was dispatched to the airport, but was called back.
Vicari said he did not know details about the incident, and was unsure if the problem in landing could be best described as a crash landing or whether the glider simply tipped over upon landing, and he was unsure what caused the glider to tip on its side.