A FLIGHT heading from Belfast to Inverness has made an emergency landing with no nose gear.
Flybe flight BE331, carrying fifty six people on board, was forced to take emergency action with the front of the plane unsupported.
The airline confirmed that one passenger from the flight was taken to hospital with a minor hand injury.
The Bombardier Q-400 had taken off from Belfast City Airport and was due to fly to Inverness before being diverted.
The plane burned fuel in a holding pattern off the coast of Belfast for around two hours before landing at Belfast International Airport with the runway closed to other aircraft.
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A Flybe spokeswoman said: “Flybe can confirm that one passenger was taken to hospital with a minor hand injury following an incident involving one of our aircraft this afternoon which landed with its nose gear raised at Belfast International Airport at 1330 local time.
“There are no further reports of any other passenger or crew injuries.
“There were 52 passengers plus one infant on board and four crew members.
“We are sending a specialist team to Belfast to offer assistance and we will now do all we can to understand the cause of this incident.”
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A spokeswoman for Belfast International Airport said: “A Flybe flight from Belfast to Inverness declared an emergency and landed at Aldergrove at about 1.20pm today.
“The airport is still open and full emergency procedures have been deployed.”
Brian Strutton, general secretary of pilots’ union Balpa, said: “Landing without a nose gear is a very difficult manoeuvre, but one pilots train extensively for.
“The pilots in this case appear to have done a sterling job of bringing the aircraft back under those circumstances.
“We expect the Air Accidents Investigation Branch will commence its work to look into this incident immediately, and we will support them in whatever way we can.”