A United Express Embraer 170 made an emergency landing at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday evening after the airplane’s nose gear failed to deploy, closing the busy New York-area airport for about 30 minutes as emergency crews dealt with the incident. Passengers and crew aboard the flight evacuated safely on the airplane’s emergency slides.
The flight crew of United Airlines Shuttle America Flight 5124 from Atlanta to Newark reported a problem with the regional jet’s landing gear as the airplane was attempting to land at Newark Liberty, according to an audio recording of the incident. The pilots performed a fly by of the Newark control tower, at which point a controller confirmed the nose gear had not fully deployed. “That nose gear is not down,” the controller confirms in the audio recording. “You got no nose gear. Door might have opened. Saw a little bump.”
Shortly afterward the decision is made to land on Newark’s Runway 22L with the nose gear in the up position. “Even if you see that nose wheel down, we're not going to know it’s completely down and locked,” one of the pilots tells the controller. “I would like to go ahead and declare an emergency at this time. And request fire rescue when we get there, assuming we stop on the runway.”
Minutes later, the tower cleared the Embraer to land. It touched down at about 6:40 p.m., and the nose gear collapsed upon landing. After exiting the airplane, the 69 passengers and four crew members were safely transported to the terminal by bus.