Charter flight transporting horses, people returned to Blue Grass Airport

A charter flight transporting 15 horses and 16 people had to return to Blue Grass Airport Monday morning shortly after takeoff when a light in the cockpit signaled that the wheels had not retracted.

Mike Payne, operations manager for the air equine transportation company Tex Sutton Forwarding, said it turned out that the wheels actually had retracted, despite the warning.

"The gear did come up, but the lights in the cockpit stayed on," he said.

The plane originally departed around 8:45 am. Monday. It landed without incident at 9:04 am., according to airport spokeswoman Louise Bowden.

The plane was en route to Ontario, California, near Los Angeles. Some of the horses had competed at the Kentucky Horse Park over the weekend, Payne said. Others were thoroughbreds headed to Del Mar horse racing track, said Payne.