Thursday, May 24, 2012
Governor Talks About Her Rough Landing
Gov. Susana Martinez this morning talked to reporters about her rough landing on a plane last night.
She told reporters, following an event reading to children at the Espanola library, that the incident wasn't as scary as one might expect.
"We were coming in from Clayton," she said. "we were coming in from Santa Fe. We had a lot of cross winds. ... So the pilot decided not to land as we got closer to the ground. ... So he made a loop around one more time. And when he did that he raised the landing gears so it would not slow the plane down. When he came back around, he was concentrating so hard on balancing the plane that, with those crosswinds he did not drop the landing gear, and so we landed on the belly of the plane.
"It was really not as eventful as one would think," Martinez said when asked how she felt during the landing. "We knew we were going around. I actually had stopped reading some material I had ...
"I'm used to having bumpy (plane) rides, so when it landed, I thought we'd had a blow out and that we were on metal because you could see sparks flying on the side, just like when you have a blow out on a vehicle and you end up with no tire and just the rim. But it was a balanced landing once we landed on the belly and we slid as he immediately came to a stop and turned off all the machinery. "
"... We were buckled in," she said. "it didn't rattle the plane it, it didn't move us around, we didn't bounce around. We didn't feel a sudden thump. Nothing. Truly what gave us the hint that something went wrong was the sound of metal on the asphalt and the sparks along the side on the outside of the plane. And shortly thereafter you could smell kind of a burning smell.
"But it was't that eventful," she insisted. "Once we walked away and looked at it, you went, 'Wow. That just happened to us. ... So I put on my flip flops and we trekked along the desert because we landed on a landing strip away from the airport." Asked about the flip flops, Martinez said, "Well, I wasn't go to do it in my high heels."
Martinez laughed when she talked about leaving the plane. "We didn't have to take several steps down. We just sort of hopped over the door. "
She said the pilot, Sid Strebeck, a Clovis businessman, has flown former Govs. Garrey Caruthers and Gary Johnson. She said she doesn't blame him for the rough landing and would fly with him again.
"Mistakes happen," she said.
The incident won't stop her from flying again, Martinez said this morning. "No, my next plane I'm getting on in a couple of hours," the governor said. She said she was going to Farmington for another reading event as well as a political function.