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UPDATE: Pilot praised for his ‘coolness’ following emergency wheels-up landing at Newcastle Airport

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4PM UPDATE:

An Eastern Air Services pilot has been praised for his “coolness” after making a “textbook wheels-up” emergency landing at Newcastle on Monday.

About 9.40am on 13 May, a civilian King Air aircraft – bound for Port Macquarie – reported in-flight technical issues to air traffic control at the RAAF Base in Williamtown.

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW), NSW Police, NSW SES and NSW Ambulance crews were then put on standby at the scene, with an operations room set up at the adjoining Williamtown RAAF base.

It’s understood the light plane’s landing gear failed, forcing it to circle above the Newcastle Airport precinct for several hours to burn off fuel.

But, it then landed about 12.18pm, sliding along the runway for approximately 500m-600m.

Three people on board the 10-seater disembarked, including the pilot, much to the relief of emergency service personal and onlookers.

Newcastle City Police District Commander Detective Superintendent Wayne Humphrey said there were smiles, and cheers, all around when the aircraft landed safely.

“We were very happy,” he stated.

“It was a mechanical failure.

“After some hours in the air burning off some fuel, he [the pilot] made a textbook wheels-up landing, which I was very happy to see.

“It’s ended really well, thank goodness.”

Superintendent Humphrey confirmed the pilot was a 53-year-old man from Queensland and the passengers were a married couple in their 60s.

“I believe they just jumped in their cars [afterwards] and went home,” he said.

“However, from all reports, the pilot kept a cool head, which saved the day.”

12.30PM UPDATE:

A light plane has successfully performed a wheels-up landing after more than two hours circling Newcastle Airport.

About 9.40am on Monday 13 May, a civilian King Air aircraft reported in-flight technical issues to air traffic control at the RAAF Base in Williamtown.

“Just after noon, the plane performed a wheels-up landing,” Newcastle City Police District Commander Detective Superintendent Wayne Humphrey said.

“Both civilian and military emergency services are responding.”

EARLIER:

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW), NSW Police, NSW SES and NSW Ambulance crews are on hand to assist a light plane as it embarks on an emergency landing in Newcastle.

It’s understood the aircraft’s landing gear has failed, forcing it to circle above the Williamtown precinct for about two hours to burn off fuel.

“Emergency services were called to Newcastle Airport following reports of a plane with mechanical issues,” a police spokesperson said.

“We received the call approximately 9.30am.”

There are possibly three-to-four people on board the plane, including the pilot.

Adding to the problem is the weather, with wind and rain, in the area.

An operations room has also been set up in the adjoining Williamtown RAAF base, with paramedics on standby.

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