Jet leaves runway, crashes at Smithfield airport

Photo submitted by Peter Cook via ReportIt!
Photo submitted by Peter Cook via ReportIt!

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — An investigation is underway after a small corporate jet left the runway and crashed after landing at North Central State Airport in Smithfield.

The Cessna Citation jet was flying from Pennsylvania to Rhode Island on business and landed at North Central at about 10:30 a.m., according to an airport official.

“The pilot in command was able to keep control of the aircraft and stopped it before it went too far,” said James Warcup from the Rhode Island Airport Corporation.

Emergency crews responded to the scene and doused the jet with water as a precaution.

The official said six people were on board: a pilot, co-pilot, and four passengers. There were no injuries.

According to the field condition report obtained by Eyewitness News, the runways at North Central were dry but the weather conditions were listed as cloudy with ground fog.

The airport official said it’s too early in the investigation to determine if a mechanical or human error led to the crash, though the pilot is experienced they say.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were heading to the scene Thursday to investigate.

Onlookers traveling down the public road by the were excited to snap a picture.

“This is pretty amazing,” said Barbara Fournier of Lincoln. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”

Passengers on board were able to make it to their business meeting in Providence but the plane will be slowly removed from the scene over the next couple of days.