An "embarrassed" pilot who forgot to lower the landing gear on his small, private plane escaped injury after he made a bumpy but safe belly landing at John Wayne Airport on Sunday.
The pilot and passenger aboard the single-engine plane were not injured, said Art York, county Fire Department spokesman.
Authorities declined to identify the pilot after he pleaded with firefighters not to release his name because he was "too embarrassed," York said.
York said the pilot took off about 7:05 p.m. Sunday and quickly made a U-turn after the plane's door was discovered open.
As he attempted to return, the pilot realized he did not have clearance to land and "got too excited and forgot to put his gear down," York said.
"The next thing he knew the plane started banging up and down as he proceeded down the runway on its belly," York said.
Damage to the plane was reported to be extensive, although no damage estimate was available.