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What: United/Shuttle America Embraer ERJ-170 en route from Atlanta,GA to Newark,NJ
When: Feb 27th 2012 6:20 p.m
Who: 69 passengers and 4 crew
Why: While on approach to Newark, the crew received a gear disagreement msg, and aborted their approach. Fire and other rescue crews were on the scene; ground crews sprayed the plane with foam fire retardant.
While circling, the crew attempted to fix the problem and performed a flyby. The flyby indicated that the nose gear was not down. ATC is recorded as saying “You got no nose gear… Door might have opened. Saw a little bump.”
The pilots replied “Even if you see that nose wheel down, we’re not going to know it’s completely down and locked. I would like to go ahead and declare an emergency at this time. And request fire rescue when we get there, assuming we stop on the runway.”
The pilots landed on the second approach and performed a belly landing.
As the plane filled with smoke, passengers evacuated via slides and were bussed to the gate. They were well prepared; passengers were alerted to the impending rough landing when the plane was 45 minutes out.
Note: “Examination found that the nose wheels were found turned perpendicular in the wheel well, impeding extension.” The problem may have originated with the hydraulics.