Nightly News   |  May 18, 2013

Plane makes belly landing in Newark

A US Airways flight made a belly landing at Newark International Airport in the early morning hours on Saturday after the plane reported a problem with its landing gear. NBC’s Craig Melvin reports.

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>>> gear failure forced a u.s. airway flight to make a belly landing in newark. craig melvin has that story.

>> rescue crews surrounded the plane after it made a belly landing at newark airport outside new york city early this morning. u.s. airways flight 4506 took off around 11:00 last night from philadelphia. it made a hard landing shortly after 1:00. the faa says the flight crew declared an emergency after the left mainlanding gear would in the extend. 31 passengers and crew were aboard the lane. port authority firefighter units met the plane on the runway and evacuated passengers. amazingly, no injuries were reported. us airways says all passengers recovered their bags and left the airport shortly after the landing. experts say belly landings are uncommon because commercial planes carry a back-up system for lowering landing gear .

>> the larger question is why was the alternate extension process not successful and that's where the investigators will focus.

>> a polish pilot is being hailed as a hero this morning.

>> the last time a belly landing drew attention was in poland in 2011 . it was forced to land after experiencing problems with its landing gear . no one was injured. last year, a united airlines flight from atlanta landed in newark without its front landing gear . survivors of airplane emergencies say the memory is hard to shake. noah gallagher survived an emergency landing several years ago and writes an account.

>> one of the scariest parts is that you're not really able to control where your mind goes.

>> for the passengers and crew this morning, a brush with danger, but a safe ending. craig melvin, nbc news, new