Kona airport runway reopens after small plane crash

Update: The state Department of Transportation reported at 11:28 a.m. that Runway 17 at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole has reopened following an inspection.

Original story:

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Flight operations have been impacted at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole after a small plane veered off the runway while landing Tuesday morning.

According to the FAA, the nose wheel of a single-engine Rockwell Commander 114 collapsed when the aircraft landed on Runway 17 at the airport in Kailua-Kona around 8:45 a.m.

“The plane then veered off the side of the runway. Only the pilot was aboard,” the FAA said, adding an investigation is underway.

According to the state Department of Transportation, state aircraft rescue and firefighters responded to the runway and found the lone pilot was not injured in the landing.

A portion of the runway has been shut down while the plane is being removed.

“KOA remains open for commercial flights, but some airlines have diverted flights, HDOT asks that you call individual airlines to find out status of flights,” said Jai Cunningham, public information officer with the state Department of Transportation.

Officials in Kona hope to have the runway completely cleared by 11: 30 a.m., he said.