A student pilot has had to make a heart-stopping emergency landing at a Brisbane airport after problems with his landing gear.
Air Traffic Control noticed that the left, main landing wheel was loose on the Piper Warrior trainer aircraft after take-off. It soon fell off. The aircraft circled the airport for nearly two hours to burn off fuel and allow emergency services to prepare, before making a successful emergency landing about 10.45am.
Footage shows the plane descending with two out of three wheels. Luckily, it lands safely and skids slightly off the runway onto the grass. The plane is tilted to one side as it lands on its belly, dragging through the field and spinning, eventually coming to a stop. Cheers were heard at the airport when the pilot touched down with only two of three wheels visible.
“The pilot did a great job considering,” a Queensland Police spokeswoman said.
Ian Caldwell-Smith has been flying out of Archerfield Airport since 2002 and although he wasn’t flying on Saturday, he was listening to the Air Traffic Control radio throughout the incident. “I was listening to the radio calls and he was cool and calm through the whole thing,” Mr Caldwell-Smith said.
“I’m not sure I would have been as collected as he was.” Mr Caldwell-Smith said. He was very impressed by the stability the student pilot was able to maintain throughout the landing.
The student’s instructor, reportedly from local flying school Basair, was in the control tower for the landing and talked the student pilot through it, Mr Caldwell-Smith said.
A Queensland Police Service spokeswoman said there were no passengers on board. Police were not investigating the incident.
The cause of the landing gear failure is yet to be established, according to local authorities.