Everyone safe after Michigan team plane slides off runway

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan’s travel to the first Big Ten Tournament in Washington D.C. hasn’t started smoothly. The Wolverines’ team plane was involved in an accident on Wednesday afternoon while attempting to take off for D.C. before Thursday’s noon game against Illinois.

Everyone was safe after the aborted landing, but the plane was damaged and the team is making new travel arrangements.

Here’s the official statement by the Michigan basketball program.

The Michigan men’s basketball team plane was involved in an accident Wednesday afternoon. After attempting to take off in high winds, takeoff was aborted and, after strong braking, the plane slide off runway. The plane sustained extensive damage but everyone on board was safely evacuated and is safe. The team is making alternate travel plans.

UPDATE 6:36 P.M.: It appears that Michigan is planning to fly to Washington D.C. in the morning.

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  • gobluemd16

    Scary situation. Very glad that everyone on the plane is OK. Wonder if they will fly out later on or make a 8-9 hour drive to DC.

  • Fab 5 Legends

    Man, very scary situation – when you don’t have control of a situation like that – glad everyone’s ok…moments like that put life in perspective…Go Blue! Glad everyone’s ok

  • Ernie Silverthorn

    No matter what happens tomorrow or through the weekend, just so thankful everyone is OK. This could have been such a tragedy. Basketball is a game, one that some of us sometimes take way too seriously. This is life. So thankful.

  • Latest situation: Michigan is planning to leave tomorrow (via flight), but an official decision hasn’t been made. Big Ten waiting for Michigan’s official travel plans before making any decision about game times. No protocol is in place.

  • MGoTweeter

    Scary stuff. Thank God everyone is physically ok. I would imagine it’s a different story mentally.

    Surprised they are waiting until tomorrow as I thought the wind was supposed to die down this evening. I would not want to go home and sleep thinking about this, then have to get on a flight in the morning. Rather just jump right back on one today before I had time to process the whole thing. Obviously I have no idea how easy/hard it is for them to find another flight at this point.

    If they do end up leaving tomorrow, the big ten has to change the game time. Best option might be switching with Iowa/Indiana assuming both those teams don’t have any travel issues with a noon start instead.

  • Foul_Trouble

    It’s too bad that Amtrak from the Midwest to DC is so dismal. Acela would come in very handy right now.

  • MrLG

    With the plane crash, it seems obvious that Illinois should forfeit and we move on to play Purdue.

  • malcolm bolt

    Glad to learn this was not worse. My blessings to all that were on the plane.

  • bobohle

    Let’s just hope the B1G Officials can switch times to give us a little break here. Like everyone else glad just shaken up mostly and not a disaster.

  • jemblue

    Surely the Big Ten will postpone the game, right? You cannot realistically expect us to fly there and play the game within a couple hours.

    • ChathaM

      Man, that is a tough one. I don’t think it would be fair to move Penn State or Rutgers to the noon game, so Iowa-Indiana would be the only switch that could make sense. But, if you switch that game, then the winner of Michigan-Illinois would have to play at noon Friday after playing Thursday night. I’m not sure what a good solution would be. Honestly, it might be best to just get to DC early in the morning, and play at noon.

      • The best option that I’ve heard is to move Michigan State/PSU up an hour or so and then play Michigan’s game after that, basically in the gap between the two sessions.

        • A2MIKE

          Michigan holds the Trump card here. They should threaten to forfeit if the game time is not moved.

          • JumpStop21

            Another perspective here is that the team might just prefer to play the game as scheduled. Off the plane. To the arena. And then play. Rather than waiting around for their game.

            That way they’d be done. Free to watch other games. Rest. Hopefully prepare for next game.

            Not sure which I’d prefer in the situation. Uncharted waters. But I could see either way.

          • Good point. I can see the benefit of sleeping in your own bed last night and actually getting sleep rather than trying to do an overnight flight as well. Also, if you move the game back, it could be more likely to catch up to you on Friday if you win as well (less recovery time).

        • ChathaM

          If MSU-PSU tipped at 1:00, then we’d play at 3:30, and be done by 5:30. But, that wouldn’t leave enough time to clear and re-fill the arena for the next game, as the tickets are sold in sessions. So, they’d probably also have to move Inidana-Iowa back to 7:00. I get that people (not necessarily you, but others) are pissed about keeping us at noon, but trying to accommodate this would not be easy.

  • bobohle

    Man if Austin Hatch was on board I wonder what he was thinking.

  • MGoTweeter

    If Michigan can’t leave until tomorrow and the big ten doesn’t move the game, I’m gonna be pissed. Would just be another example of these people in leadership positions around college athletics showing they really don’t care about the athletes.

    The only reason this tournament is so far away is because of money. Money that doesn’t go to helping the athletes who actually earn it. The main reason the game won’t be moved is because of tv money. Again, money that doesn’t go to the people who actually earn it.

    I love college sports but getting really sick of the farce of the whole thing. these higher ups continue to bury their heads in the sand about paying players all the while their own bank accounts get fatter. And they can’t move a game by a few hours either? Pretty sad considering pro sports move their games from time to time for similar events.

  • MrLG


    Here is a travel update for #GoBlue We can't wait to get to D.C. on Thursday and compete for Michigan! 〽 pic.twitter.com/HqZYiEoM7b— Michigan Basketball (@umichbball) March 9, 2017

    • Joel_C

      I can’t believe they pulled that off and still won by 20, man

  • MGoTweeter

    Sounds like it’s official that the game isn’t being moved. Can’t say I’m shocked, just dissapointed. Wish the btn actually employed some intelligent or free-thinking analysts/hosts on their programs instead of the mindless shills they have on now. Don’t want the Michigan powers to whine about this (like some other local coaches/ads would do), but would be nice to have someone else stand up and point out the hypocrisy. Would live to hear a Charles Barkley or Chris spielman on btn live talking about this.

  • bobohle

    I think BTN is doing everything they can to get Illinois in the ncaa tourney. It’s not going to work @ Michigan’s expense. GO BLUE!!!!!!