BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The LSU baseball team is safe and back on the ground after their charter plane had to return to the airport after experiencing a mechanical failure.
The plane which had departed from the Baton Rouge airport had not reached cruising altitude when the pilot reported the incident. The eighth-ranked Tigers were headed to College Station, TX to play Texas A&M this weekend. The team will practice at Alex Box Stadium and then leave later tonight for College Station.
Officials at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport say there were problems with the wing flaps on the plane. Wing flaps allow the plane to change speeds for landing.
The pilot had to circle the airport to burn off fuel before making the landing on the main runway at the airport, to lessen the weight of the aircraft, according to officials. WAFB's Jacques Doucet spoke to LSU Baseball Coach Paul Mainieri and said the plane circled the airport for about 30 minutes before they landed, which was a very fast landing. He said they were greeted at the airport by fire trucks on the runway but the entire team was fine.
Officials say because the Baton Rouge airport has a long runway, landing the plane was not an issue. The pilot was able to land the plane without the wing flaps, they just had to do it at a faster speed than one would prefer.
There were 43 passengers on board and no injuries were reported.