On Wednesday night, a FedEx cargo airplane made an emergency landing at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Tennessee with all its goods still on board. The jet slid off the runway and crashed.
Three people were in the Boeing 757, and the Chattanooga Fire Department reports that everyone onboard is safe and sound. All FedEx employees are okay, and the business has reported any additional safety concerns to the NTSB.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are looking into the event.
The flight departed from Chattanooga at around 10:20 p.m. on Wednesday, as the tracking service Flightradar24 reported. The pilots soon after informed air traffic controllers that they were experiencing a “minor difficulty” and would require additional flight time to determine their next course of action. It was unclear how that incident was related to the landing gear malfunction.
After deciding to divert from their planned path to Memphis, the pilots reported receiving an indicator of a malfunction with the landing gear and declaring an emergency.
As a result, the pilot asked permission to fly low over the airport so that the ground crew could see if the plane’s landing gear was down.
After making one more turn, the plane could land without incident.
According to fire department officials, smoke poured from the fire engines but no actual fire. The aircraft went off the runway’s end and stopped short of a road that circles the airport’s periphery.
Experts agree that events like the one on Wednesday are infrequent because the landing gear on large aircraft can usually be extended manually by the pilot.
A FedEx and a Southwest Airlines airplane nearly collided on a runway at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport earlier this year. After a series of near-misses, including this one, new efforts were launched to enhance airline safety with the ultimate goal of eliminating the occurrence of such occurrences.