Passenger injured in Inverness-bound Flybe emergency landing

Firefighters at the Flybe aircraft after its emergency landing. Picture: Trish Corbett
Firefighters at the Flybe aircraft after its emergency landing. Picture: Trish Corbett
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A female passenger was taken to hospital today after a Flybe flight from Belfast to Inverness made an emergency landing following a landing gear fault.

Flybe can confirm that the woman was treated for a "minor hand injury".

A spokesman said: "There are no further reports of any other passenger or crew injuries."

There were 53 passengers including a baby and four crew members on board.

The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft landed safely at Belfast International Airport at 1:20pm after circling for two hours to burn off fuel.

A spokeswoman for the airport said the landing gear at the nose of the aircraft had been stuck in the up position, but it been able to land without the nose scraping along the runway.

The Flybe aircraft seen from a passenger landing on an EasyJet flight from Glasgow. Picture: Geoff Coyles

The Flybe aircraft seen from a passenger landing on an EasyJet flight from Glasgow. Picture: Geoff Coyles

She said: "The aircraft had an undercarriage problem.

"It landed safely. The runway is blocked but other flights are using the cross-wind runway."

Flight BE331 had taken off off shortly after 11am from Belfast City Airport.

A Flybe spokesman said: “Flybe can confirm there has been an incident involving one of our Bombardier Q-400 aircraft, flight no BE331 which landed with no nose gear in place.

"The aircraft departed from Belfast City at 11:07am bound for Inverness.

"The incident occurred at Belfast International Airport at approximately 1:30 pm.

"Our primary concern is for the welfare of the passengers and crew.

"We are sending a specialist team to Belfast to offer assistance and we will now do all we can to understand the cause of this incident."

The British Airline Pilots Association praised the pilots' skill in landing the aircraft.

General secretary Brian Strutton said: “Landing without a nose gear is a very difficult manoeuvre, but one pilots train extensively for.

"The pilots in this case appear to have done a sterling job of bringing the aircraft back under those circumstances.

“We expect the [UK Department for Transport's] Air Accidents Investigation Branch will commence its work to look into this incident immediately, and we will support them in whatever way we can.”

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) tweeted: "Fire Crews were on standby at Belfast International Airport for an emergency landing.

"The aircraft has landed safely. No action required from NIFRS at the scene."