Small plane makes emergency 'textbook wheels-up landing' at Australian airport

May 13 (UPI) -- The pilot of a small plane performed an emergency fuselage landing at a southern Australian airport on Monday after its landing gear failed to descend.

Neither the pilot nor the aircraft's two passengers were injured in the "textbook wheels-up landing" at Newcastle Airport, New South Wales Police Superintendent Wayne Humphrey said in a press conference with the runway behind him.


"Which I was happy to see," he said.

According to the superintendent, the pilot, a 53-year-old Queensland man, knew there was an issue with the landing gear while flying to the airport in Williamtown, which is located about 51 miles north of Sydney along Australia's southeastern coast.

The pilot then decided to fly around the airport to resolve the issue, but when that failed he flew for another 90 minutes or so to burn off fuel before attempting the emergency landing.

Emergency crews were on the tarmac awaiting the plane, but were not needed.

Humphrey said the pilot sounded calm talking to them on approach and landing. No one was hurt.


"I believe they jumped in the car and drove home," he said.

The passengers were described as a 60-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman.

The runway has since been closed, with the airport stating online that they are investigating options to recover the aircraft and reopen the airfield as soon as possible.

"We're incredibly relieved the aircraft landed safely this afternoon," it said in a statement.

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