Jet with 2 blown tires lands safely, Post Malone fans cheer

August 21, 2018 - 4:09 pm

NEWBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — A private jet that blew two tires during takeoff at a small New Jersey airport on Tuesday made a safe emergency landing hours later at an airport in New York.

Fans of rapper Post Malone had gathered at New York Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of New York City, after hearing he was on board, and they cheered when the plane landed just before 4 p.m. There was no confirmation that he was on the plane.

The troubled Gulfstream IV was en route from Teterboro to London Luton Airport in Luton, England, when the pilot realized shortly after takeoff that the tires had blown. The pilot began circling the airport for about 30 minutes before the jet was diverted.

The plane originally was to attempt an emergency landing at Westfield-Barnes airport, said Eric Billowitz, manager of Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport in Massachusetts.

A small group of the curious and fans who had heard Post Malone was on the plane gathered at the airport in Westfield, Massachusetts, hoping to watch the landing.

"We came down because he had the biggest day of his life yesterday and we wanted to make sure he is safe," said Jessica Kielb, of Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Billowitz said he was told the plane was first headed to the Massachusetts airport because there is a Gulfstream service center there and because the airport has "one of the longest runways in the Northeast" at 9,000 feet (2,740 meters), but the plane was then diverted to Stewart.

Stewart's signature feature is a nearly 12,000-foot (3,650-meter) runway, long enough to handle the fat-bodied C-5A Galaxy planes laden with supplies and better for such emergencies.

More Post Malone fans started arriving at Stewart airport later Tuesday.

Post Malone was scheduled to perform at the Reading and Leeds Festival in England over the weekend, according to his website's tour schedule.

The face-tattooed singer/rapper took home the song of the year award at the MTV Video Music Awards on Monday night in New York for his hit "Rockstar," featuring 21 Savage. The song is from his latest album, "Beerbongs & Bentleys."

The 23-year-old was joined on stage by rockers Aerosmith and 21 Savage for a wild performance that closed out the awards show.

The plane had 16 people on board when it left Teterboro Airport around 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration said, but didn't specify if the number of people aboard included the pilot.

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Associated Press writers David Porter in Newark, New Jersey, and Pat Eaton-Robb in Westfield, Massachusetts, contributed to this report.

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