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Published December 09, 2009, 07:56 AM

Plane with three Fargo passengers makes an emergency landing

(WDAY TV) - A scary situation for the three Fargo passengers on that plane in Wyoming. They had to make an emergency landing after the plane's landing gear didn't go down. The three left Fargo around 11:30 this morning headed to Casper.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

(WDAY TV) - A scary situation for the three Fargo passengers on that plane in Wyoming. They had to make an emergency landing after the plane's landing gear didn't go down. The three left Fargo around 11:30 this morning headed to Casper.

On board the plane: Pilot Stewart Peterson. He owns the West Fargo company North Country Marketing. Tom Noonan Sr. and Irene Meyer were passengers. They were going to Casper for tomorrow's funeral for Tom Noonan's son.

“It was something you were so focused on getting this done is that you don't have time to get scared.”

As they lined up for the final approach, an uneventful flight took a turn for the worse.

“We exhausted three tanks of fuel, buzzed the tower at least a dozen times, and as we got dangerously low on fuel, we made a decision to make a forced landing.”

55-year old Stewart Peterson was flying the single engine four passenger piper Comanche.

“Recycled the gear, recycled it and checked the circuit breakers and all procedures I could think of and we had to pull the panel off and try to hydraulically jack it down.”

The landing gear went half way down before getting stuck. They couldn't do anything else but land in the 14 below weather.

“Dragged on the belly for 200 feet and we were at a stop. Everybody was fine.”

Surprisingly and luckily, they credit the chilly weather with helping them land the plane safely, directly into the wind.

“Had there been a crosswind, it might have been another story because when you lose air speed, that wind can catch your tail and spin you around and you got no power to correct.”

Just hours later, Peterson looks back at the incident and says he has no idea what went wrong, but is thankful everyone walked away.

“It’s gonna be interesting. It was exciting. There's nothing we could've done. These things happen.”

The prop is destroyed, but there's minimal damage to the rest of the plane. In Peterson’s 38 years flying, he's never had this problem happen. The three plan to rent a car then drive back to Fargo on Friday.

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