By Neil Lancefield, Press Association Transport Correspondent
A Flybe aircraft has been forced to carry out an emergency landing without nose gear at Belfast International Airport.
Fifty-three passengers including one infant were on board flight BE331 when it touched down with the front of the plane unsupported, the airline said.
One passenger was taken to hospital with a minor hand injury. No other casualties were reported.
Screen grab image taken from Flightradar24 of the flight path of Flybe BE331 which has landed with no nose gear at Belfast International Airport. (Image: Flightradar24/PA Wire)
The Bombardier Q-400 had taken off from Belfast City Airport shortly after 11am on Friday and was due to fly to Inverness before being diverted.
The plane burned fuel in a holding pattern off the coast of Belfast for around two hours before landing at Belfast International Airport at around 1.30pm with the runway closed to other aircraft.
Photographs from the scene show the aircraft tipped forward and resting on its nose, with fire brigade vehicles nearby.
Belfast International Airport said “full emergency procedures” were deployed.
Landing without nose gear is “a very difficult manoeuvre”, according to Brian Strutton, general secretary of pilots’ union Balpa.
Flybe BE331 on the tarmac after it landed with no nose gear at Belfast International Airport. (Image: Liam McBurney/PA Wire)
He said: “The pilots in this case appear to have done a sterling job of bringing the aircraft back under those circumstances.
“We expect the Air Accidents Investigation Branch will commence its work to look into this incident immediately, and we will support them in whatever way we can.”
A spokeswoman for the airline said: “Flybe can confirm that one passenger was taken to hospital with a minor hand injury following an incident involving one of our aircraft this afternoon which landed with its nose gear raised at Belfast International Airport at 1.30pm.
“There are no further reports of any other passenger or crew injuries.
“There were 52 passengers plus one infant on board and four crew members.
“We are sending a specialist team to Belfast to offer assistance and we will now do all we can to understand the cause of this incident.”
Source: Devon live