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Plane Makes Emergency Landing, Slides Off Runway At O’Hare

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American Eagle Flight

An American Eagle flight to Tulsa, Okla., slid off the runway after making an emergency landing Thursday morning. (Credit: Edward Hoover)

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UPDATED 05/31/12 – 4:49 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — An American Eagle commuter plane slid off the runway during an emergency landing at O’Hare International Airport Thursday morning, just a day after the very same plane made an emergency landing at the airport.

As CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports, passengers have always heard about the emergency slides that are used to evacuate from a plane in an emergency. On Thursday, 28 passengers had to use one.

“We knew, landing, that … things weren’t good,” passenger Jason Fountain. said. “Once we landed, I thought ‘Well, we’re fine, we’re going to stop soon,’ and we just kind of ran out of runway.”

American Eagle Flight 4069, an Embraer ERJ-145 with 50 seats, had just taken off from O’Hare for Tulsa, Okla., at 8 a.m., when the pilot noticed a gear problem.

An indicator light was going off in the cockpit, according to American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller.

The pilot contracted air traffic control, and declared an emergency.

“We’re having landing gear issues, and we’ll need to sort it out real quick and come back,” the pilot told the air traffic control tower. “We are declaring an emergency.”

The controller asked the pilot of the plane’s gear was stuck in the down position.

“We don’t know. We’re having a disagreement message,” the pilot said.

“Did you want to do a flyby, and have the tower look at the gear before you land?” the traffic controller asked.

The pilot said yes and, after the flyby, the controller said the plane’s gear appeared to be down, so the flight landed back at O’Hare at 8:38 a.m., and skidded off the runway, veered on to a cargo taxiway, and hit the grassy area along the runway.

Twenty-eight passengers and three crew members were on board. Some of the passengers were forced to use an emergency slide to exit the aircraft.

“She ran out of runway, so she had to veer a sharp right, and we landed in the grass, about 100 meters from the end of the runway,” said passenger Peter Waech. “I was in Row 14, so by the time I arrived at the front of the airplane, they had the gates up — had the stairs up — and we were able to walk down, so we didn’t have to jump.”

The passengers were taken back to the terminal by a shuttle bus. They were then taken to a different plane, which took off for Tulsa sometime around 10:30 a.m., Miller said.

No one was injured or hospitalized, fire officials said.

Everyone involved said it all could have been much worse.

Miller said the plane had been taken out of service for a similar mechanical issue on Wednesday, and was “thoroughly inspected by our maintenance team at ORD before being redeployed.”

This was the second incident in as many days involving an American Eagle plane at O’Hare. On Wednesday, a 747 cargo jet clipped the rudder of an American Eagle flight as it was taxiing to the gate.

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