Small Plane Crashes at Hopkins Airport

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A small single-engine airplane with three people on board crashed at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Wednesday just before 10 a.m.

The runway has been temporarily closed.

Airport officials say that no one was injured and that the crash was caused when the plane's nose wheel collapsed during the landing and caused it to slide into the runway.

The plane is being towed away by Hopkins crews.

Though there are at this time no casualties, (other than a few delayed passengers, perhaps) and the crash appears to have been more an issue with the plane itself than the runway, this couldn't have come at a worse time for Hopkins.

After a hefty fine levied by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which the city is currently appealing — not to mention testimony from an airport employee that, fines notwithstanding, the airport can't possibly achieve adequate staffing levels this winter — the airport is in the midst of a public relations nightmare. 

Reporter Dan McGraw, in last week's issue of Scene, suggested that Hopkins might be under-staffing because of money shortages. The de-hubbing of United caused a massive decrease in departures and passengers.  

Mark Naymik called the FAA fine a wake-up call in a Cleveland.com column this morning.  But even if the FAA can't jolt Hopkins into best practices, the airport will have no choice but to wake up if passengers continue to avoid it because of perceived non-compliance with safety protocol. 

And/or crashes. 

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