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No Injuries as Jet Returns to John Wayne After Takeoff

March 09, 2004|Mai Tran | Times Staff Writer

A Dallas-bound passenger jet returned to John Wayne Airport early Monday without incident after its landing gear failed to retract after takeoff, airport officials said.

The 46 passengers and four crew members were evacuated from the aircraft, operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines, disrupting operations at the airport for about 30 minutes, said Justin McCusker, spokesman for the airport. There were no injuries.

Shortly after the aircraft took off about 8 a.m., the pilot reported he was unable to retract the landing gear and requested clearance to return, McCusker said.

"While it didn't affect the flying of the aircraft, he didn't want to take any chances," McCusker said of the pilot's request.

Officials closed the airport to incoming and outgoing flights until after the plane landed safely on the runway. Passengers were shuttled by bus to the terminal.

McCusker said he did not know how many flights were affected by the closure.

It was later determined that a broken pin in the landing gear prevented the wheels from closing. Atlantic Southeast Airlines operates connecting flights under contract with Delta Airlines.

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