McEntire Still Prefers to Fly Despite Latest Incident
Nov 8, 1992
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Country star and native Oklahoman
Reba McEntire says she will continue to fly to concerts
despite an emergency landing Friday night and a plane crash
last year that killed seven members of her band.
Her private, twin-engine jet made an emergency landing and
skidded down a runway Friday night at Nashville International
Airport after the pilot was unable to lower the nosegear.
There were no injuries.
McEntire, 37, switched planes and flew on to Madison, Wis.,
where she performed in concert Friday night. She flew Saturday
from Madison to Detroit for another appearance and plans
to fly again Sunday to a concert in East Lansing, Mich.
She was unavailable for comment Saturday, but her husband-manager
said she will continue to rely on air transportation.
"Our confidence in flying has not been shaken and we continue
to believe beyond a shadow of doubt that it's the safest
means of travel," said Narvel Blackstock, who was on the
plane Friday night with McEntire, two pilots and the singer's
Seven members of McEntire's band died in a March 1991 plane
crash near San Diego. She was not on that flight.
After that crash, McEntire formed her own charter flight
company to provide her with transportation. The 12-passenger
Hawker 25 jet that made the emergency landing Friday night
is part of the company's fleet.
The tense landing occurred minutes after a plane carrying
Vice President-elect Al Gore landed at the airport from Little Rock.
"It was an emergency landing, not really a crash landing,"
said Jenny Bohler, spokeswoman for McEntire. "But the (TV)
footage was frightening."
Sparks spewed from the plane when it landed as emergency
vehicles stood by.
"We were confident in our captain and co-pilot," Blackstock said.
Bohler said the plane would be taken apart Monday to try
to determine why the nosegear would not go down.
The plane had just left the airport when the crew discovered
the nosegear was malfunctioning, Bohler said. The pilot,
Kevin McCutcheon, decided to return to the airport rather
than fly on to Wisconsin.
McEntire's current album, "For My Broken Heart," has sold
2 million copies. Her current single, "The Greatest Man
I Never Knew," is in the top 10 on the country popularity charts.