PORTLAND, Ore. – Two sets of brakes failed and two tires blew out on an F-15 fighter jet as the plane was landing at Portland International Airport on Thursday afternoon.
The pilot wasn't hurt, although his plane did get stuck on the runway, hampering service and causing delays for commercial passengers, according to airport spokesman Steve Johnson.
According to Colonel Rick Wedan, the pilot was returning from a training mission when two sets of brakes failed during landing. The pilot initiated a back-up braking system, but the plane was traveling too fast and two tires blew out.
Because of the extreme heat there was a small fire and the jet actually fused to the runway.
By 5 p.m., two hours after the plane landed, it had been cleared off the runway and passenger jet service was resuming.
The incapacitated plane was blocking the airport's main north runway.
Compounding the problem, the airport's south runway is only partially open due to construction work, Johnson said.
Strangely enough, the south runway is closed for repairs after the tire on another F-15 failed and the jet's landing gear damaged the runway.
The limited runway options led to delays, Johnson said.
One passenger on a delayed plane tweeted that he was told they would be stuck for two hours.
Several Portland Timbers players also tweeted about being stuck at the airport. The team was scheduled to fly to Chicago for a match.
“45 min delay for them to get disabled plane off runway,” player Ben Zemanski tweeted.
The F-15s based at PDX are part of the Oregon Air National Guard 142nd Fighter Wing. The pilots and other members of the air wing are tasked with defending the airspace from the Oregon/California border to the Canadian border.
The F-15 stuck on the north runway at PDX. (Photo courtesy Devon Smith)