Plane makes emergency landing at Newcastle Airport after landing gear fails

A small plane landed with its wheels up like in a picture book during an emergency at Newcastle Airport.

Rescue workers were on standby after the pilot reported shortly before 10 a.m. that the plane’s landing gear had failed.

The plane circled the ground for more than two hours before landing at 12:18 p.m.

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As it approached the runway and touched down, its engines appeared to shut down and eventually come to a stop.

There were loud cheers from the crowds that had lined the airport perimeter to watch.

Ambulances and fire engines raced toward the stricken aircraft before the three occupants were seen exiting the plane.

A digital image of a plane being tracked over Newcastle showing it circling continuously

The plane had been circling the airport to burn fuel.(Included in delivery: flight radar)

It is understood the Beechcraft Super King Air, operated by Eastern Air Services, had already flown for 10 minutes to Port Macquarie when the problem was discovered.

More than a dozen fire, police, SES and ambulance teams attended the scene, with an operations room set up at the adjacent Williamtown RAAF base.

Superintendent Wayne Humphrey at a press conference at Newcastle Airport.

Superintendent Wayne Humphrey said the pilot was a 53-year-old man from Queensland and the passengers were a married couple in their 60s.

“I think they jumped in the car and drove home,” he said.

“We applauded… we were very happy.”

“It was a mechanical failure.

“After burning some fuel in the air for a few hours, he (the pilot) managed a textbook wheeled landing, which I was very happy about…It ended really well, thank God.”

People stand next to their cars.

Spectators cheered as the plane landed safely.(ABC News: Jesmine Cheong)

Newcastle Airport posted about the event on social media, saying: “We are incredibly relieved that the aircraft landed safely this afternoon.”

The post continued: “We are exploring options to recover the aircraft and reopen the airfield as quickly as possible.”

Passengers were asked to speak to their airline directly if they have any further questions.

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“Everyone held their breath”

Rachael Maguire and her daughter Elle came to watch the plane land.

“It was incredible… he just couldn’t have done it better if he had wheels,” she said.

Ms Maguire said she was worried about what they would experience.

“I knew he had dumped his fuel, I was worried if the plane would still hold together,” she said.

“I don’t know what to expect… I think a little bit of rain earlier helped it not dig into the runway as much.”

“Everyone held their breath and when he did it, everyone cheered.”

A plane flies low to the ground.

The plane had previously made a low flight over the airport.(ABC News)

Eastern Air Pty Ltd, trading as Eastern Air Services, is headquartered in Port Macquarie.

The company operates primarily in New South Wales and Queensland, offering regular scheduled flights using its fleet of turboprop aircraft.

These include scenic flights to Lord Howe Island, including whale watching flights, as well as cargo services.

A police car was parked in front of an airport.

After the alarm was raised, rescue workers rushed to the airport.(ABC News: Jesmine Cheong)

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