Crippled Jet Lands
Crippled Jet Lands Safely at L.A. Airport
By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer
A JetBlue airliner with faulty landing gear touched
down safely Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport
after circling the region for three hours with its front
wheels turned sideways, unable to be retracted into
The pilot landed by balancing on the back wheels, then
eased onto the front tires, which shot flames along
the runway before tearing off. The metal landing gear
scraped for the final yards.
Within minutes of landing, the plane's door was opened
and passengers walked down a stairway with their luggage
and onto the tarmac, where buses waited.
No injuries were immediately reported among the 140
passengers and six crew members, fire officials said.
The plane landed at an auxiliary runway set apart from
the main terminals. Fire trucks and emergency crews
had massed nearby to help.
"It was a very, very smooth landing. The pilot did an
outstanding job," said fire Battalion Chief Lou Roupoli.
"There was a big hallelujah and a lot of clapping on
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating
the incident, NTSB spokesman Paul Schlamm said.
JetBlue flight 292 left Bob Hope Airport in Burbank
at 3:17 p.m. for New York's John F. Kennedy International
Airport, said JetBlue spokesman Bryan Baldwin.
The Airbus A320 first circled the Long Beach Airport,
about 30 miles south of Burbank, then was cleared to
land at Los Angeles International Airport. It stayed
aloft to burn off fuel and lighten its weight, said
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Donn Walker.
The plane landed at 6:19 p.m. Some passengers shook
hands with emergency workers as they walked off the
plane. Others talked on their cell phones and waved
to cameras. One firefighter carrying a boy across the
tarmac put his helmet on the child's head.
JetBlue, based in Forest Hills, N.Y., is a five-year-old
low-fare airline with 286 flights a day and destinations
in 13 states and the Caribbean. It operates a fleet
of 81 A320s.