A poised pilot is being credited for executing the safe emergency landing of a Delta Airlines jet at JFK airport over the weekend after the plane experienced landing gear problems.
Flight 4591, operated by Atlantic Southeast, was on its way from Atlanta to White Plains went it touched down with sparks flying on Saturday evening at about 8:20. There were no reports of injuries.
Capt. Jack Conroyd is being credited with saving the jet's 60 passengers by making an amazing touchdown of the CRJ-200 Twin Engine plane. Conroyd is a retired Navy flier with nerves of steel. The flight was originally bound for White Plains from Atlanta.
Conroyd was heard calmly explaining to the control tower that the landing gear was broken. "The right gear is stuck up, the other two are down," he's heard saying.
Passengers on the flight told NBCNewYork that the first sign of trouble came when they realized the plane was circling the wrong airport.
In a video that was captured by a passenger (above), a stewardess can be heard shouting "heads down! stay down!" while the plane comes in for a relatively smooth landing that produces fiery sparks.
When the jet was safely on the ground, passengers erupted in applause and cheering.
"I just want to say thank you," passenger Alessandro Alberro -- who took the video -- said of the pilot's safe landing.
In air traffic recordings the pilot can be heard calmly describing the situation to controllers.
"I understand you have your right gear stuck down," says the tower.
"The right gear is stuck up, the other two are down," says the captain.
"Would you prefer runway 3-1 Left or 3-1 Right," says the tower.
"Whichever one would be more convenient for y'all," responds the captain.
Atlantic Southeastern Airlines spokesman Jarek Beem says all passengers exited safely through the main door and were bused to the terminal where they were being accommodated by Delta representatives.
He says the airline was working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the landing gear problem.
Published at 9:31 AM EST on Sep 26, 2010
Copyright Associated Press