SAN DIEGO — The pilot of an experimental aircraft over the South Bay declared an aircraft emergency Saturday morning after he realized his landing gear would not lock into place.
Officials said the pilot of a small aircraft over Brown Field Municipal Airport in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego County radioed into air traffic control operators around 11:30 a.m. to declare an aircraft emergency.
Air traffic radio communications indicated the pilot was experiencing a failure with his aircraft's nose gear locking mechanisms.
Cal Fire San Diego and other first responders were observed waiting near the runway while the aircraft's pilot circled above the airport.
Brown Field Municipal Airport was frequently known for various military, federal, and private aircraft operating off one of the airport's two runways.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection also operated a branch northeast of the runway, which was said to provide air and marine response capabilities to Border Patrol and Field Operations, according to their website.
Video from OnScene.TV showed the aircraft in distress coming in for a tedious and cautious landing.
The front of the aircraft glided above Runway 26R,' a 7,972 ft runway (about the length of 30 city blocks) designed for large aircraft, according to the airport's website.
When the aircraft came to a stop, the front landing gear collapsed, and the nose of the plane hit the ground, according to officials.
No injuries were reported, and the pilot was able to manually lock the landing gear into place to move the aircraft off the runway.
Brown Field Airport returned to regular operation shortly after the incident.
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