Airport Manager Karl Von Hagel said the pilot couldn’t get the retractable wheels of the plane down.
“There wasn’t a big accident,” Von Hagel said of the crash, which occurred at about 7:30 p.m. “It just slides in. All they do when they can’t get the wheels down is they land on their bellies, and they just slide a little bit, and they come to a stop, and the fire department was there as a precaution, of course.”
Von Hagel said a belly landing damages the bottom of the plane and usually the engine.
“The propeller will strike the ground, which means the engine then has to be completely torn down and rebuilt. It’s an expensive issue,” he said.
Von Hagel said he did not know the name of the pilot, but that he was not injured.
The crash shut down the airport for several hours.
“We’re now just trying to arrange for the aircraft to be removed from the runway,” Von Hagel said.
“That’s the biggest fallout is the runway’s closed until we can get it off there.”
Von Hagel said any other aircraft planning to land at McCollum on Wednesday night had to be diverted to another airport.
The airport reopened after 11 p.m.