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All survive terrifying plane 'belly landing' in Newark

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 19th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In a case that miracles do happen, a U.S. Airways flight was forced to make an emergency landing, on its "belly," without fire breaking out. All 34 people survived the terrifying ordeal, and disembarked safely at the Newark International Airport this past weekend.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Credit for the landing rests with the plane's pilot, named by witnesses as Edward Powers, who performed a heroic emergency landing.

Footage of the turboprop twin-engine plane coming down on the runway displays a shower of sparks flying from its underbelly as it scraped across the tarmac.

Emergency airport workers on the ground doused the plane in foam as a precaution. The action of the quick-thinking pilot was credited for saving U.S. Airways Express Flight 4560.

Difficulties first emerged as the Dash 8-100 plane operated by Piedmont Airlines, carrying 31 passengers and three crew members, came in to Newark around 1 a.m. having left Philadelphia two hours earlier.

Pilot Powers was unable to fully lower the plane's landing gear. Circling in the air several times, the pilot repeatedly tried to lower the gear but to no avail.

Powers realized it would be necessary to raise the gear completely and make a belly landing which would give the plane a good chance to come down safely and lower its chances of veering off the runway.

The pilot then continued to circle - using up fuel to lower the risk of a fire. After touching down, the passengers were evacuated to the terminal by bus.

After the harrowing ordeal, the relieved pilot and his two crew members posed for a picture alongside the foam covered aircraft.

A spokesman for U.S. Airways said they are cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board which is investigating the incident.

Of the heroic actions of Pilot Powers, the spokesman said, "The landing of the aircraft on the ground safely is testament to how well our crews are trained. They are trained to think quickly and assess the situation and act with the utmost professionalism."

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