TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A pilot is safe after executing an emergency landing Monday at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport.
The landing took place shortly after 2 p.m. Monday on Runway 1-7, according to Jenny Wells with the City of Tyler. Wells said the pilot was able to exit the plane safely with no reported injuries. He was the only passenger on the plane.
"The God above definitely graced our presence today," the pilot's wife, Heather Wilson, said.
Family says the pilot was Chad Wilson.
The FAA preliminary report said that the aircraft departed Tyler en route to Dallas, but had to return to Tyler due to a malfunction. The left main gear was unable to extend, the report said. The pilot worked to resolve the issue, and ultimately made an intentional gear up landing at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, the FAA said.
About 1 p.m., Tyler Fire Department crews responded to the airport when the pilot, who was flying a Piper Cheyenne aircraft, said he was experiencing issues with the left side of his landing gear.
"The pilot was very calm and methodical," Airport Manager Davis Dickson said. "We brought a mechanic into the air traffic control tower and discussed potential solutions of getting that gear down."
When the gear wouldn't come down, the pilot continued to circle the airport while attempting to burn off fuel before making a belly landing.
The pilot had 2 hours of fuel on board. According to Dickson, the pilot wanted to take his time before making an emergency landing. The pilot even performed a low flying approach to test the winds close to the ground.
In the video, you can see smoke from the ground, surrounding the plane. Dickson says that is due to the friction of the metal scraping the ground. The wings did not make contact with the ground.
Dickson says the pilot did an excellent job of landing and there was minimal impact to the airport. The FAA gave Tyler Pounds the all clear for crews to come and remove the plane from runway 1-7.
Operations at the airport are continuing as normal at this time.