High winds force Michigan basketball team plane to slide off runway

YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) - The University of Michigan's men's basketball team was on board as a plane slid off the runway at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan on Wednesday as the team was en route to the Big Ten Tournament in Washington.

There were reportedly no major injuries, as the plane came to a rest in a grassy area near the runway. 

Winds were gusting near 60 MPH at times Wednesday afternoon as the plane prepared for takeoff. 

Michigan's noon Thursday game versus Illinois is still on as scheduled, but the team likely will not arrive until just before tip off, coach John Beilein said.

"We have a few people banged up a little bit, a few cuts, few bruises, but other than that, everybody's healthy," Beilein says. "It's only an airplane. It's only an airplane that was destroyed. No lives were destroyed."

"Our kids will look at life much differently after what we just experienced," he also said.

When asked about continuing their trip, Beilein says, "Right now, I think the best decision is to wait 'til tomorrow, and just get up early and go."  

The FAA is investigating the accident.

A charter MD83 slid off Runway 23L upon departure from Willow Run Airport at 2:55 Eastern Time this afternoon. The intended destination of the aircraft was Dulles International Airport, Washington DC. The FAA is investigating.

 

 

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