Florida plane tries nail-biting touchdown without landing gear

A twin-engine airplane spent two nail-biting hours circling above Daytona Beach International Airport before touching down without proper functioning landing gear.

The Piper Aztec plane made a belly landing – meaning the pilot used the planes underside as the primary landing device – shortly after 6 p.m. on Thursday. The two people on the plane walked away unscathed, officials told The Daytona Beach News-Journal.


“We are very lucky,” airport director Rick Karl said. “We had an experienced pilot on board who managed to do a gear-up landing without flipping the airplane or doing any major damage. There are a lot of bad things that can happen when you don’t have your landing gear.”

Emergency crews arrived to the scene around 4:30 p.m. and waited until the plane landed, The News-Journal added.

Karl said no flights were delayed and aside from a fire safety truck parked on the runway, other airport travelers were unaware of the incident.

The airplane is registered by Tomato Company, which is registered to Michael Ninivaggi and Melissa Booth, The News-Journal reported.

Ninivaggi said he was not piloting the plane during the landing and had no further comment.

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