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United Express Jet Lands Safe After Scare

“Beautiful landing” successful after a nose landing gear malfunction

Over 50 passengers are expressing their gratitude to both United Airlines and SkyWest Airlines after a safe and successful emergency landing at Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO) in Colorado. The Durango Herald reports the flight made the landing after experiencing a front landing gear malfunction.

According to airport staff, United Flight 5849 departed from Denver International Airport (DEN) with 56 people aboard the small commercial aircraft. Immediately after takeoff, the pilots reported the issue with the front nose gear. Fearing the apparatus could be in trouble, the pilots opted to make an emergency landing at DRO.

The aircraft was forced to circle for over half an hour in order to burn enough fuel to attempt the landing safely. Prior to the attempt, the pilots manually locked the landing gear in place and requested visual confirmation from the ground.

“They did a low-level flyby so we could verify it was down,” Tony Vicari, interim director of aviation at DRO, told the Durango Herald “We have to make a judgment call on whether it’s locked. There’s always the chance it could collapse on impact.”

Upon landing, the gear held, allowing the flight to come to a gentle ending. Passengers aboard the flight said the aircraft came down without any major incident.

“The landing was smoother than normal,” flyer Jennifer Alvenes told the Durango Herald. “It was the most beautiful landing we have ever seen.”

Paramedics checked all of the passengers after the landing was completed. Neither SkyWest nor United released a statement about the incident.

[Photo: Durango Herald]

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