A Polish airlines flight from Newark, N.J., crash-landed at a Warsaw airport Tuesday, according to TVN24, a Polish news station. None of the 230 people on board were injured in what witnesses have described as the pilot’s "fantastic job."
The Boeing 767 had to make an emergency landing after the plane’s undercarriage door could not be opened to release the wheels due to a power system malfunction, the LOT Polish Airlines spokesman, Leszek Chorzewski, told the news station.
The plane also landed with empty fuel tanks, since the plane dropped the excess fuel earlier, which is procedural in crash-landings Chorzewski reportedly said. He added that the emergency procedure was conducted with complete correctness.
A video on the news station’s website shows the hazardous landing, in which the pilot had to sit the plane on its belly, without the wheels.
Though a lot of smoke can be seen coming from under the machine, and a small fire reportedly broke out, the authorities have extinguished it immediately, TVN24 reported.
The talented pilot, Tadeusz Wrona, is very experienced having had flown over 15,000 hours, the authorities said.
"It was a fantastic job, I only saw a small fire," another pilot, Piotr Lipiński, reportedly said judging the landing. He added that this form of crash-landing always poses great potential danger.
"But this time it was conducted just as it should. The maneuver was phenomenal," Lipiński said. He also added that three things prevented a tragedy: an experienced crew, a good plane and good weather.
The plane was scheduled to land at the Okęcie (Fryderyk Chopin) national airport in Warsaw at 1:30 p.m. local time. Instead, the Boeing was circling above the airport for about an hour before attempting to descend, to the escort of fire trucks and medical officials.
Fire fighters have reportedly sprayed the airport lane with foam as preparation.
The spokesman for the Warsaw Fire Department, Paweł Frątczak, reportedly said that the airport authorities were well prepared for an emergency landing.
The airport remains closed for air traffic. Scheduled flights were redirected to other Polish airports.
Russia Today published video footage of the emergency landing: