Plan for new Vt. state plane grounded - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Plan for new Vt. state plane grounded

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Safety concerns over Vermont's state plane led to calls for a new one, but now those plans may not take off.

State transportation officials proposed replacing the state's 50-year-old Cessna with a larger twin-engine plane at a cost of $1.5 million paid for over the next 10 years. State aviation officials say the old plane is outdated, and it's no longer cost effective to maintain. They've also raised safety concerns.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says he experienced a midair scare in the plane.

"Last time I was in it, the door flew open and I pulled it shut. I wanted to see how much gas was in it. So, we knocked on the gas gauge a few times and couldn't get it to read," said Shumlin, D-Vermont. "My staff flips out every time I crawl into it."

But the governor says given the state's financial condition this is probably not the year to get a new one. And now transportation officials say that item has been pulled from the agency's budget.

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