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If an aeroplane crash lands because of landing gear failure, how long is the runway/airport shut? Is the runway surface often damaged in this situation?

It would depend on how bad the crash was, what aircraft was involved, what kind of airport, and exactly what happened.

For example – if you blow a tire on a Cessna 172, and slide off the runway into the infield at some little grass strip – there will probably be no airport closure at all. Likewise – ground loop a taildragger at such a field and it will also likely result in no closure / no report. (Though you might need to buy silence with a couple of cases of Heineken for the fridge.)

Now if the aircraft in question is an Airbus A-380 and the gear collapsed, causing the aircraft to cartwheel, and there are bodies and smoking chunks of body parts scattered across the entire 10,000 foot runway – well that will be a little harder to keep quiet so the closure will be for awhile – as long as it takes the NTSB and FBI to process, photograph, measure, and otherwise collect every single item in a 2-mile long half-mile wide “Crime Scene”. (Remember it’s a crime scene until it’s ruled accidental)

As for the surface – again can vary widely. Grass strip – fill the divots in with your feet, toss down a handful of grass seed and piss on it. Problem fixed. At the other end of the spectrum – you have run into the frangible stopway area and taken out the airport fence. In which case, some contractor’s mistress is gonna be getting a new Jaguar.


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