The crew of Flight 8078 prepared for a crash landing Wednesday coming into JFK Airport after the plane's nose gear failed to drop down properly -- with the wheels turned at a right angle, the New York Post reported.
"It appears cocked at 90 degrees," a controller at the airport radioed one of the pilots.
Capt. Moacir de Oliveira, 58, then decided to make an emergency landing after consulting with his flight crew and officials from the airline's headquarters in Brazil and controllers.
Then, just before landing, the nose gear suddenly locked itself in the correct direction.
"It appears as you were landing the nose gear did straighten out," the controller radioed after the plane touched down.
The plane then taxied to a gate and waited for emergency vehicles.
"The crew took all necessary precautions, and landing occurred in total safety," said TAM spokesman Carlos Teciano.