PICS: Flybe plane makes emergency landing without its nose gear

2017-11-11 12:30
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Flybe plane made an emergency landing in Northern Ireland. (Photo: The Associated Press)

London — A passenger plane carrying more than 50 people made an emergency landing without its nose gear at Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland on Friday, 10 November, after circling for two hours to burn fuel.

The Bombardier Q-400 operated by UK-based carrier Flybe took off from Belfast City Airport for Inverness, Scotland, on Friday before being diverted. The plane circled in a holding pattern for about two hours before it landed at the city's international airport.

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The airline says the plane was carrying 53 passengers, including an infant, and four crew members. One passenger was treated in a local hospital for a minor hand injury. No one else was hurt.

The airport confirmed it was "dealing with an incident on our main runway" but says it remained open.

The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch says it was sending a team to Belfast to investigate the incident.

Images on social media showed the aircraft tipped forward onto its nose with firetrucks nearby.

Brian Strutton, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots Association, says landing without nose gear is "a very difficult maneuver."

"The pilots in this case appear to have done a sterling job of bringing the aircraft back under those circumstances," he says.

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