FAA plane makes emergency belly landing

Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Federal Aviation Administration plane made an emergency landing on its belly Tuesday after its landing gear failed to deploy.

The problem arose on a routine training flight in which two pilots tried for more than three hours to get the right landing gear on the twin prop Beech King Air to go down. As they tried, they used much of the plane's 1,300 pounds of fuel, reducing the risk of fire if a belly landing became necessary.

Meanwhile, airport rescue crews and members of the Anchorage Fire Department gathered at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

With no other alternative, the pilots decided to land the plane without the landing gear. The plane landed safely on the runway. No one was injured.

FAA spokeswoman Joette Storm said the two pilots conferred with experts in Anchorage and Oklahoma on how to handle the emergency.

''We are pleased that they (the pilots) are as skilled as they are,'' she said, after the plane was back on the ground.

The National Transportation Safety Board has the plane in a hangar and is trying to determine what went wrong.

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