(NEWARK, N.J.) — A U.S. Airways official confirmed that a turboprop plane carrying 31 passengers and three crew members was forced to make a belly landing in Newark, N.J., early Saturday morning due to a problem with the jet’s landing gear.
The jet, operated by Piedmont Airlines, left Philadelphia before 11 p.m. on Friday.
According to U.S. Airways Spokesman Davian Anderson, tower operators attempted to help the pilot troubleshoot after the plane’s landing gear remained retracted. After multiple attempts, they decided to execute a belly landing.
When the pilot attempted to land the plane without the use of landing gear, sparks flew, but he managed to keep the plane steady and on the runway.
All 34 people on board were taken off the plane and bused to the terminal.
U.S. Airways believes the issue was an isolated mechanical problem. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul R. La Monica, CNN
Holly Yan, Chuck Johnston and David Williams, CNN