A US Airways plane made an emergency belly landing at Newark Liberty International Airport on Saturday after a malfunction prevented the craft’s landing gear from deploying.
The airline and government officials confirmed that Piedmont Airlines flight 4560 was carrying 34 passengers and three crew when it landed safely at 1am.
Passengers were evacuated from the craft on the tarmac and were transported to the terminal, according to a Federal Aviation Administration statement provided to Reuters.
Plane belly landings are considered unusual, and what’s more, they’re dangerous. The risk is that a fire could light up the plane’s fuselage while it skids across the hard concrete on the tarmac.
Luckily, none of the passengers or crew were injured.
After the emergency landing, the Newark airport was closed for more than an hour, and the runway was closed for more than eight. Despite this, airport officials confirmed that flights were still on time.
Flight 4560 had left Philadelphia late on Friday night, with the pilot circling Newark several times after finding out that the landing gear had malfunctioned.
The pilot eventually decided to just land without the gear when it was clear it would not respond. Sparks flying from the fuselage startled passengers.
On Twitter, the National Transportation Safety Board said that they are investigating the incident.
NTSB investigating USAirways emergency landing at Newark early this am. No injuries. Assessing damage to plane.
— NTSB (@NTSB) May 18, 2013
Several witnesses managed to capture the plane’s belly landing on their cellphones, videos of which have gone viral on social networks like Facebook and Twitter:
[Image via: WNBC]