Crews at Kansas City International Airport had an unexpected training drill when a plane operated on behalf of US Airways veered off a runway.
Airport spokesman Joe McBride said crews were running a maintenance test on an E170 Republic Airlines jet about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday when it went off the runway and ended up in some grass. The nose of the plane was wedged into a gully.
The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation.
US Airways contracts with Republic Airlines for some flights, so there were passengers waiting for the plane scheduled to depart for Washington, DC at 5:50 a.m. The flight was canceled and the airline got everyone onto other flights.
Two maintenance workers were the only people onboard. No injuries or damages were reported.
The workers were testing the plane's wheels.
Kansas City Fire Department Battalion Chief Matt Mauer said crews quickly set up a command center. He said the department jumped "through all the hoops as if there were a larger incident."
"We're going through all of our operations as if we had a crash there because we have a handy airplane out in the grass at the end of the runaway," he said.
After the FAA released the plane, it still took some time to get it removed. Altogether, the plane was off the runaway for nine hours.
The north-south runway was closed as a result of the mishap, airport officials said.
Planes used the airport's two east-west runways to take off and land until the runway was reopened. The airport's fourth runway was closed due to maintenance.
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