TAIPEI — A Daily Air (�w�w����) plane landed on its belly at Taitung Airport during a training session on Sunday after the co-pilot forgot to lower the landing gear during the approach, the Taiwanese carrier said.
The Dornier Do 228 aircraft was carrying two pilots when the accident occurred at Taitung Airport in southeastern Taiwan on Sunday afternoon. Both pilots are reported to be safe.
The pilots were practicing take-offs and landings and were returning to the airport from outlying Green Island for one of their practice runs, according to Daily Air Corp.
They were simulating a left engine failure as they approached the airport, and the co-pilot, whom the airline said may have been too focused on the simulated problem, forgot to lower the landing gear.
The airplane skidded over 200 meters on its belly before coming to a stop, the airline said, adding that it was still investigating the accident.
The Taitung Airport was closed for two hours, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., due to the accident.
A farmer who lives nearby said he heard a loud rumbling sound at the airport and when he got there he saw a plane lying flat on the runway and the two pilots getting out of the aircraft.
Wang Hsing-chung, managing director of the Aviation Safety Council, said his agency has sent a group to Taitung to investigate the accident and assess the damage.
Daily Air mainly operates flights to Taiwan’s outlying islands, including Orchid Island and Green Island off the coast of eastern Taiwan and Penghu off Taiwan’s west coast.
Its Dornier Do 228 aircraft has a capacity of 19 passengers.