Jul 3, 2013 11:16 PM by John Reger

GQ: Can a plane land in the open area at the end of SLO Airport runway?

The plane that went down last week after take-off from the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport flew over an open field before crashing. That brought up this question: Could a pilot land a plane in the open space that starts at the end of the runway? Good Question. The open space leads off the runway in a northwest direction. From the air, one sees circles in the field. They are the remnants of old oil tanks. The metal has been removed and the hole filled in with dirt. A large circle sits just off the end of the runway. Its circumference is actually a brick wall about four feet high, which the Airport would like to see removed. No landing there. Tank Farm Road runs east to west, cutting the field in half. On the north side sit smaller tank circles and marshy wetlands without tall vegetation. SLO County Airport Manager Richard Howell is a pilot himself. He says you could feasibly land a plane there but it would be rough and bumpy. Any way you figure it, a pilot would have to make an instant decision because it's only 1.2 miles from the runway to the first buildings across the field. If you've got a Good Question, send it to facebook.com/johnregerksbynews. The only bad question is the one you don't ask.