Dalton Wallitner and Kory Qvigstad were beginning to work toward their multi-engine rating as pilots Monday when they got a bigger training lesson than they expected – landing without nose gear.
They were taking a first flight with instructor Larry Vogel, a retired Alaska Airlines pilot who spent over 30 years flying for airlines.
Both the students attend the aviation program at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, and are flight instructors aboard single engine aircraft in their own right. Qvigstad has 650 hours flying so far, and Wallitner has 680 hours.
With the nose gear not working, the instructor and his students became a team to bring in their plane safely at the Bremerton airport.
It was a picture perfect landing until the nose gear didn't extend, and the plane landed with metal to runway contact.
"In the future when we're working at a regional airline or bigger airlines where we end up, it will stick with us," Qvigstad said. "How to handle a situation like this. It's an experience you can look back on and apply to future situations."