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Delta flight lands safely without front landing gear

Despite the lack of a wheel or two, passengers aboard the flight described the landing as "smooth" and no injuries were reported.
Posted at 12:46 PM, Jun 30, 2023

A plane full of passengers in Charlotte, North Carolina, breathed a sigh of relief after a harrowing incident Wednesday that could have ended much worse. Thanks to the training of the flight crew, their Boeing 717 landed safely despite a malfunction that caused the front landing gear to fail to deploy.

On their approach into Charlotte from Atlanta, a visual from the control tower confirmed what a warning light had already told the pilots of Flight 1092: That the front landing wheels remained inside the plane despite the bay doors being open.

The crew of the Boeing informed the passengers that they would need to make an emergency landing. They made their approach and did in fact manage to land the plane. Despite the lack of a wheel or two, passengers described the landing as "smooth," and applause broke out in the cabin as the plane came to a stop. Chutes were deployed from the front of the plane to allow those within the cabin to slide off, and all 96 passengers exited without a single injury, as did the pilots and crew.

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Pilot Byron Macrae told Charlotte's WBTVthe smooth landing showed the pilot's skill.

"This is textbook," he said. "I mean it couldn't have gone any better. Everyone got off. It shows that these pilots were very well qualified. They were very well trained and reverted back to their training."

The event did cause some inevitable delays at Charlotte Douglas, but otherwise it's hard to think of a happier ending. According to a statement from Delta, the FAA and NTSB will conduct an investigation to determine why the landing gear failed.

If you're unlucky enough to be in a plane that experiences a landing gear mishap, follow the lead of these Flight 1092 passengers and don't panic. While it doesn't often happen to large commercial airliners, this type of glitch is more common than you may think: Aviation Safety magazine reports that when it comes to mechanical incidents in airplanes that have retractable landing gear, this is relatively common. The good news is that while they're a headache for the airport and a scare for passengers, they rarely result in serious injury.