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United Express flight number 6798.
Plane Mishap at O'Hare
by Mat Garcia
CHICAGO, Feb. 10 – Several people were hurt in a plane mishap at O’Hare International Airport Saturday night.
      The initial reports say the landing gear collapsed on the United Express flight. The plane took off from Lafayette, Indiana, and stopped in Springfield. Its final destination was O’Hare.
    All passengers were taken to area hospitals and released.
    Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were on the scene at O’Hare. They retrieved the black box from the plane and took it into a warehouse. Authorities hope the flight recordings will provide some answers as to what happened to the plane’s landing gear.

    SCARY FLIGHT
    “It was very scary. Somebody just yelled ‘Get open the doors’ ‘cause we’re worried about fires, so we jumped out,” said passenger Roger Hoover.
    The plane’s landing gave the 15 passengers and 2 crew members of United Express flight number 6798 scary moments. The plane flew out of Lafayette, Indiana and was scheduled to land at Chicago O’Hare.
    Around 4:53 Saturday afternoon, an emergency alert at O’Hare was put out with word that the landing gear of the plane collapsed. The 19-seat Beach 1900 D-Turbo landed on its belly on Runway 4R.
    Emergency crews responded. There are reports of injuries and passengers complaining of back and neck pain.
    “Just before landing, they noticed that we are too low, almost above the car roads. Things flew out of the propeller of the engine. And then we landed on the airplane, not on the wheels,” said passenger Avi Kluger.
    “He [the pilot] never lost direction or control of the airplane. The airplane’s sitting on the runway pointed dead ahead. And we got out of it as fast as we could,” said passenger Mike Simonian.

    PROBLEMS WITH THE PLANE?
    Seven passengers were transported to area hospitals with minor injuries. The rest boarded a bus to the terminal.
    Saturday night, a spokesperson for Great Lakes Aviation, who has a marketing agreement with United Express, said there may have been a problem with the plane’s landing gear.
    “Speculation indicated that there was a problem [Saturday night] with the airplane involving the landing gear. And that’s all I know at this point,” said Mark Hansen of Great Lakes Aviation.
    “It has no impact on airport operations at all. This is a runway that we barely use. So right now, operations are normal, they will remain normal until [Sunday] morning,” said City Aviation spokesperson Monique Bond.
    Great Lakes Aviation did not provide any details as to the maintenance of that plane.