FAST-THINKING pilots averted potential disaster at the Portland airport yesterday.
The Sharp Airlines Metroliner with two pilots and 10 passengers came to rest in grass beside the tarmac about 2.30pm after a rear wheel locked up.
Portland police Sergeant Daniel Lehmann said the pilots had to contend with fierce cross-winds when they attempted to land.
"One rear wheel locked up and caused the aircraft to veer to the side. The pilots reacted to correct the plane, but it still veered off the tarmac," he said.
"The actions of the pilots have diverted disaster. If the pilots had not performed as well we could have been facing fatalities. The incident was reported to the Air Traffic Safety Bureau," he said.
There were no injuries and only damage to the locked tyre.
Gorae fire brigade and Portland police attended the airport.