A single-engine aircraft with a reputation for using very little space to take off or land was put to the test Tuesday when a 1970 Maule made an emergency landing on the No. 15 fairway of the golf course at the Country Club of Columbus.
Neither the pilot nor passenger was injured during the 2 p.m. landing just off Hilton Avenue at the 18-hole golf course, said Columbus police Lt. J.F. Ross. None of the golfers on the course was injured.
Michael Fischer, general manager of the Country Club of Columbus, said it took about five minutes to get the plane off the fairway after it landed without incident. “I can’t state it enough,” he said. “Nobody got hurt. That is what it all boils down to.”
Ronald H. Wolf, one of the two owners of the aircraft, said part owner Dean A. King was the pilot, trying to make it to the Columbus Airport for maintenance when it lost some power. “We don’t know yet what the problem was,” Wolf said. “He didn’t lose total power. He lost partial power, not enough to maintain.”
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The plane that’s based outside of Columbus had plenty of fuel, he said. An investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived and has most of the information on the plane.
Wolf said it’s unfortunate the plane made the emergency landing but very fortunate that nothing serious happened. “There’s no damage to the airplane and no damage to anybody,” Wolf said. “It’s all good.”
The plane landed on the fairway, which is a long par 4 on the course. The pilot landed the plane going uphill toward the tee box while some of the top amateur golfers in the country were playing the practice round for the Southeastern Amateur, which begins Wednesday.
Columbus police sealed off the Maule M-4 220C aircraft with yellow tape until the FAA arrived to investigate the landing. The aircraft with tail number N2067U seats four and has a 235-horse power Franklin engine.
Known for its ability to land or take off on a short distance, the Maule is a great aircraft, Wolf said. It’s partially fabric and partially metal. “Typically, we don’t do golf courses but we do a lot of hay fields,” he said.
If the cause of the emergency landing can be determined, Wolf said the plane probably could take off from the location.
Fischer has been at the Country Club of Columbus for about eight months but noted the aircraft landing is the most unique event to happen to him.
“This is definitely the most unique thing,” he said standing near the yellow and white Maule. “ I have seen helicopters land on golf courses but that was planned at a club I worked at. The bride and groom left after their wedding ceremony.”