TAMPA, Fla.- Passengers got quite the scare early Tuesday morning when an American Airlines flight made an emergency landing at Tampa International Airport due to a malfunctioning indicator light in the cockpit prior to landing.
Tampa International Airport spokesperson, Danny Valentine, said a gear indicator light came on aboard Flight 574, and Airbus A320 aircraft traveling from Phoenix to Tampa with 146 passengers on board.
The plane landed safely despite the malfunctioning indicator and passengers were deplaned via air stairs and driver by bus to the terminal.
Passengers noted that the plane circled around for about 45 minutes before landing.
“When we started to circle, I knew that it was the landing gear that had not come down, and we were circling to burn off fuel,” one passenger told Fox 13 News.
Airline spokeswoman, Leslie Scott, sent out an email explaining the incident. In the email Scott said no on was injured. When asked to confirm the reports of a problem with the landing gear indicator light Scott said that airline maintenance workers were evaluating the issue.
The flight left Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport at 6:40 p.m., per flightaware.com. As the plane approached Tampa International for a landing it turned and headed back north. This led to the plane circling north of the airport three times before coming in for a landing at 12:11 a.m.
News Channel 8 Daytime host Jerry Penacoli was on the flight at the time. He recalled that passengers were being told to brace as if they would crash land and flight attendants showed passengers how to properly brace for impact.
“After flying around for about 30-45 minutes, the flight crew did an amazing job of getting us prepared, and told us to be prepared for an impact landing. And then they started to yell, literally, ‘prepare for impact, prepare for impact.’ And we were all in the impact position with our heads down,” another passenger, Kendall Stahl, said to Fox 12 News.
Passengers said the pilot and flight crew did a great job landing the plane and handling the situation.