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Landing Gear Fails On Flight LH288

Lufthansa makes emergency landing at Stuttgart

Tony Czuczka,  Sep 14, 2009

A Lufthansa flight operated by Contact Air with 78 people on board made an emergency landing at Stuttgart airport today after the main landing gear failed to extend fully, the airline said.

No one was injured, Contact Air said in an emailed statement. Five people were being treated for possible shock, and a flight attendant was taken to the hospital for observation, Stuttgart airport said on its web site. Runways will probably stay closed until the evening, the airport said.

The Fokker 100 jet left Berlin’s Tegel airport at 8:44 am local time as Lufthansa flight LH288 with 73 passengers and five crew members, the airline said. “Despite several attempts, the cockpit crew could not fully activate the main landing gear” on the approach to Stuttgart, the statement said.

Photos on the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper’s web site showed the plane trailing fire and smoke as its tail section scraped the runway. Passengers and crew used emergency slides to leave the plane, Contact Air spokesman Manfred Gaertner said in a phone interview.

Franz Muentefering, chairman of the Social Democratic Party, said he was aboard the plane on his way to a campaign rally before Germany’s September 27 election.

“The pilot told us there’s a problem and we have to do another turn,” Muentefering, whose party is the junior coalition partner to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, said in remarks broadcast on n-tv television. “He tried to approach two or three more times. Then he said we just have to land the way it is.”

Everyone aboard was “very disciplined,” Muentefering told reporters. “We all slid down and helped each other.”

Lufthansa makes emergency landing at Stuttgart
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