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Sun, Dec 18, 2005

Citation Lands Safely After Gear Problem

CNN, MSNBC, Fox Oddly Absent During Ordeal

The flight crew of a Cessna Citation 550 (file photo of type, below) that briefly experienced landing gear trouble but later landed uneventfully at Toledo Express Airport Friday may have wondered "where are the cameras?"

Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority spokesman Brian Schwartz told the Toledo Blade the jet's pilot reported the problem to the airport at 12:40 pm.

While the pilot and one unidentified passenger circled the airport for approximately 90 minutes working to correct the problem, the airport went on Level 1 emergency alert.

Several agencies, including the Springfield Township and Swanton Township fire departments, Lucas County EMS, and the Ohio Highway Patrol responded to the call -- and they all had prime seats to watch as the Citation landed safely at approximately 2 pm, with all three gear fully extended.

Schwartz said the Citation was taken to the airport's Cessna service center to be thoroughly checked.

Somewhat notoriously absent from the scene were the television cameras present during similar landing gear incidents earlier this year -- specifically a similar stuck-gear incident November 21 involving a Gulfstream V bizjet, as well as the much-ballyhooed landing of a Jetblue A320 in September with its nosegear canted 90 degrees out of whack. In each of those cases, local news crews fed their camera feeds of the circling jets to cable news channels, who broadcast the images to the viewing public.

Both of those incidents also ended safely, with the G-5 crew also able to successfully drop the gear and the pilot of the stricken Airbus making a spectacular -- albeit fairly routine -- emergency landing in a shower of sparks (above).

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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