SAN ANTONIO — A small plane that experienced a landing gear malfunction burned off fuel before a successful landing at San Antonio International Airport on Tuesday afternoon
The left landing gear of the Beechcraft Bonanza experienced a technical problem, airport spokesperson Nora Castro said.
The pilot made several low passes and cycled through landing gears in an apparent attempt to extend the left gear.
The four men on board were not injured; they were seen exchanging "high fives" after exiting the aircraft.
The plane is registered to Angel Brothers Aviation in Baytown, Texas.
The fuel for this type of aircraft is located in the wings, said commercial pilot Jeff Nelson. He also said the pilot needed to make the landing as smooth as possible to avoid burning through to the fuel and to keep the passengers aboard safe.
The pilot successfully landed on the belly of the plane without any landing gear to avoid hitting the wings that have fuel in them.
Hamid Afzal, a flight school instructor with Alpha Tango Flying Services, said 98 percent of the time when pilots attempt a belly landing, it is successful.
More than 17,000 of this type of aircraft have been built since 1947. The plane is a six-seat single-engine plane.