Small plane makes landing on its belly in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO -- A small plane that was experiencing an apparent landing gear malfunction landed safely on its belly at San Antonio International Airport Tuesday afternoon.

The left landing gear of the Beechcraft Bonanza had experienced a technical problem, airport spokesperson Nora Castro said.

The plane landed on its belly and the four men on board the plane were seen outside the plane high-fiving each other after it came to a stop in the middle of a runway.

Video from 11Alive's San Antonio sister station KENS showed the pilot making several low passes prior to landing.

According to KENS, the plane is registered to Angel Brothers Aviation in Baytown, Texas.

The fuel for this type of aircraft is located in the wings, said commercial pilot Jeff Nelson. He also said the pilot will need to attempt to make the landing as smooth as possible to avoid burning through to the fuel and keep the passengers aboard safe.

The pilot will probably try to land on the belly of the plane without any landing gears to avoid hitting the wings that have fuel in them, Nelson said.

Hamid Afzal, a flight school instructor with Alpha Tango Flying Services, said 98 percent of the time when pilots attempt a belly landing, it is successful. More than 17,000 of this type of plane have been built since 1947. The plane is a six-seat single- engine plane.

(KENS San Antonio contributed to this report).


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