LOS ANGELES — A small commercial airliner with 43 people aboard trailed smoke as it skidded along a runway at Los Angeles International Airport after its landing gear failed to fully drop down Monday morning.
Nobody was hurt during the emergency landing by SkyWest Airlines Flight 5316, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
“We were a little nervous, it was very fast,” passenger Dennis Thanass told the station. “Soon as we missed the airport the first time, we knew they were gonna dump the fuel, and they flew by the tower to make sure the wheels were up or down.”
Travelers said the pilot told them to assume the crash position – leaning forward with hands over heads – and to brace themselves.
The plane’s left main landing gear failed to extend as the Bombardier CRJ100 arrived from Monterey, California, Gregor said. Smoke and sparks could be seen coming from the left side of the aircraft as it dragged along the runway and skidded to a stop.
“If you take a look at the aerial photos, you can actually see the plane tilting a little bit, but our airport response firefighter vehicles were there, ready for it,” LAX spokeswoman Mary Grady said.
Airport spokesperson Katherine Alvarado told CBS News that the plane landed with an hour worth of fuel on board.
Passengers said everybody on the plane burst into applause when the plane stopped safely.
Emergency responders checked the 40 passengers and three crew members as they filed down a staircase and into buses, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said.
There was no fire, Scott said. But airport delays were expected as the plane got cleared from the runway.
Mechanics will inspect the aircraft to determine what may have caused the problem, SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow said.
The plane, operating as United Express, took off from Monterey around 7:15 a.m.