Picture perfect landing
MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- American Airlines flight 862 had been diverted to Miami International Airport with an unknown nose gear problem. The flight originated from Palm Beach International and was enroute to Chicago
Feb 22, 2008 3:44 pm US/Eastern Plane With Nose Gear Problem Lands Safely At MIA
An American Airlines flight bound from Palm Beach International Airport to Chicago was diverted to Miami International Airport shortly after takeoff Thursday afternoon after pilots reported a mechanical problem. The plane landed safely shortly after 3:40 p.m. after the pilot spent almost 2 hours burning off fuel.
American Airlines Flight 862, which had left Palm Beach at 1:56 p.m. Friday, apparently developed the a problem with the nosegear as the plane left the airport. The nose gear appeared to be locked, and there were reports there may have been a problem with the door covering the gear.
The MD-80 jetliner had 138 passengers and crew members aboard, according to the FAA.
Miami International Airport was selected for the landing because of the length of the airport's runways and the emergency response teams in place. A spokesman for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said their crews are on a stand-by status, and consider this a relatively low-level alert.
The pilot of the jet flew around the area of Miami International Airport in an effort to burn off fuel, and did a fly-by so pictures could be taken of the nose gear equipment. The plane had to burn off about 4 thousand pounds of fuel, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
As crews awaited the plane's arrival, Miami International Airport remained open and planes continued to land and take off.
FAA spokesperson Katheen Bergen said this is is not a routine situation, but "crews are well trained to handle these situations."
Miami International Airport officials said they were ready for any problem, noting the airport had just completed a triennial disaster drill Thursday.
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