Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Plane lands with no power West of Tucumcari


April 13, 2016

New Mexico State Police Officers and the Quay County Sheriff's Office secure the scene of an emergency landing of a single engine plane Wednesday on Interstate 40 West of Tucumcari.

Law officers secure the scene of an emergency landing of a single-engine plane Wednesday on Interstate 40 west of Tucumcari.

Quay County Sun

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Interstate-40 traffic was a bit more congested than usual on Wednesday morning. An Indiana couple landed their single-engine airplane on the median about 15 miles west of Tucumcari, after losing power.

“This was the first landing without power for the both of us,” said Ronald Beyers.

“It’s also the last time, I hope,” said Bernadette Beyers.

Ronald Beyers said he was focused on landing the plane in the dirt median between the eastbound and westbound highways and he did not notice if there was any other traffic.

New Mexico State Police reported there were no injuries related to the incident.

The couple was flying to their home in West Lafayette, Indiana, from Mesa, Arizona, when their 1958 Piper Comanche lost power.

“We were about a mile north of I-40, said Ronald Beyers, who was piloting the plane.

He said he was flying as usual when he and his wife lurched forward in their seatbelts and the engine stopped.

He said he switched fuel tanks and turned on the booster pump but there was still no power to the plane.

“At that point, I began surveying the area for a possible place to land the plane,” Ronald Beyers said.

They began their descent shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

By the time Quay County Sheriff’s Office deputies and New Mexico State Police troopers arrived on scene, the Beyers were unharmed and walking around the plane.

“It all happened so suddenly,” Bernadette Beyers said. “I’m just so grateful that we are both OK.”

She credited the safe landing to her husband’s experience as a retired Air Force pilot who earned the rank of colonel. Ronald Beyers served for 26 years.

Ronald Beyers said he called out a “may day” distress, advising authorities of his plan to land the aircraft on the interstate.

Ronald Beyers stands next to the tail of his 1958 Piper Airplane Wednesday speaking the Federal Aviation Administration after he was forced to land without power 15 miles West of Tucumcari.

Officials early Wednesday afternoon were still on the scene, awaiting the arrival of officials from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Ronald Beyers said the plane will have to be hauled from where it landed.

Ronald Beyers stands next to the tail of his 1958 Piper.

Bernadette Beyers speaks with New Mexico State Police Officer Joshua Silva after she and her husband Ronald were forced to land their plane in the median.


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