June 23, 2000: Commercial Aircraft Make Emergency Landing

  • Published
  • 96th Air Base Wing

An American Eagle commuter plane en route to Las Vegas, Nevada, made a successful emergency landing on the main runway. The pilot had discovered hydraulic problems shortly after leaving Los Angeles. The twin-engine Saab 340 carried 31 passengers and three crewmembers.

As early as 1933, the idea of utiliizing this airfield as a commercial aircraft emergency landing site turned around within the minds of the planners.  Construction began on a Government Landing Field northeast of Palmdale. The 160 acre facility was constructed by the Department of Commerce to be an emergency landing field for commercial air traffic. A local dirt strip on the site was replaced with four-way 3,300 ft oiled runways. The facility soon became the “U.S. Palmdale Airport” and eventually evolved into Air Force Plant 42.

Since that time there have been over 100 documented incidents of commercial aircraft safely landing at Edwards Air Force Base. 

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