Plane loses wheel, makes emergency landing at Sarasota airport

Small plane lands safely in Florida after pilot discovers left rear wheel is missing.

Chana Roberts ,

Airplane (illustrative)
Airplane (illustrative)

A plane originating in Central America on Friday night made an emergency landing in Florida's Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

According to The Independent, the airport received a distress call from the plane's pilot just prior to 5:00p.m.

The plane, which was missing a wheel, originated in Belize and was scheduled to land in Tampa at 6:00p.m. on Friday.

Officials say the left main gear wheel had fallen off during takeoff.

Prior to landing, the pilot circled over the Gulf of Mexico to burn fuel and reduce the plane's weight.

The twin-engine IAI 1124 Westwind jet touched the runway at 5:45p.m., then skidded off into the grass, where the pilot and his three passengers exited safely.

The plane has ten seats and a cruising speed of 390mph.

Airport officials in Belize are still searching for the missing wheel.