A small, private plane was forced to make an emergency landing at the Chesterfield County Airport after its landing gear wouldn't immediately go down.
The pilot of the Beechcraft Baron model plane ultimately manually cranked down the landing gear for a safe arrival around noon Thursday.
The plane, owned by Midlothian's Delta Airport Consultants, departed from Charlotte, N.C. just before 11 a.m. Thursday. The contract pilot and one passenger were headed to West Virginia, but ran into an issue mid-flight when the control switch to the landing gear wasn't activating
"The pilot has an emergency procedure checklist. He pulled that out, and we reviewed that," said Chesterfield County Airport chief mechanic Tony Nunes.
Fire and EMS crews readied themselves on the tarmac, for any outcome. Emergency vehicles, including some loaded with extinguishing foam were called to the scene.
"In a situation of an aircraft landing, with the jet fuel that is on board, if it does catch fire, it's going to need a lot of foam to be able to extinguish it." said Chesterfield Fire Lt. Jason Elmore.
The pilot successfully manually cranked the landing gear down and after nearly an hour of uncertainty, the plane carrying coasted easily down the runway.
"This has happened several times in the past. Some have been good outcomes… some have been not so good outcomes, as far as actual crashes," said Lt. Elmore.
The owners of the 1978 plane say it's never before had an issue with landing.
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