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Plane makes successful wheels-up emergency landing in Australia after circling airport for hours


By Helen Regan, CNN

(CNN) — Two passengers and a pilot emerged unscathed from a small plane after it was forced to land without landing gear following a mechanical failure at Newcastle Airport in Australia’s New South Wales.

The plane, a Beach B-200 Super King, circled the airport for hours burning fuel before making a “textbook” wheels-up emergency landing, CNN affiliate Nine News reported.

Footage shows the plane approaching the runway without its landing gear activated before touching down and skidding along the tarmac until coming to a stop.

Emergency response vehicles were on standby and could be seen in the video racing to the aid of the plane.

Superintendent Wayne Humphrey from NSW police praised the 53-year-old pilot for executing a successful landing, saying that nobody was injured and the passengers had even been able to drive home, Nine News reported.

“It was a great result, really well done by the pilot,” Humphrey reportedly said. “I could hear him on the air, he sounded very calm to me.”

The plane had been circling the airport for several hours in order to burn fuel.

Those guiding the plane down in the control room burst into applause when they saw it had landed safely, Humphrey said.

The plane had been scheduled to make a 26-minute flight from Newcastle to Port Macquarie, about 400 kilometers (248 miles) north of Sydney.

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