Airplane Makes Emergency Landing at Easterwood

By: Joe Brown and Kristen Ross Email
By: Joe Brown and Kristen Ross Email

It was bumpy afternoon for the 19 people on board a Continental flight forced to make an emergency landing Monday afternoon at Easterwood airport.

Local emergency responders were summoned to the airport at 2:15 p.m. when the incoming Flight 9499, a SAAB 340, aircraft reported hydraulic problems with its landing gear.

Authorities began preparing for a possible "belly landing" of the plane, but the crew was able to manually activate the landing gear. The aircraft touched safely around 2:30 p.m.

The close call left passengers shaken and grateful to be back on the ground.

"I was very nervous. The guy next to me I think got a little sick. I have been on small planes before but there were two dips I had never experienced before and people were like woah," Passenger Lowaunz Farrow said. "I was nervous."

"We heard a loud bang, and some of us thought it might have been the landing gear coming out, but it was a different kind of bang than we're used to hearing. So we figured something was wrong." A&M Student and Passenger Brooke Coleman said.

Passengers exiting the plane say there was a bowling ball size hole visible in the front of the aircraft.

"As we de-boarded the plane and got into the van you could see on the front of the nose it looked like a piece of sheet metal that was sticking up, but it almost appeared the hydraulic might have punched a hole in it, and of course it was leaking on the ground," Flight 9499 Passenger Don Coovrette said.

The airplane was en route from Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport with 16 passengers and three crew members. The plane was forced to stop at the end of the runway and bus the passengers to the main terminal to pick up their luggage.

Officials with Continental were not allowed to comment, citing a company policy which permits them from discussing plane problems before an investigation is completed.

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