It was a rough flight; start to finish, for passengers on board American Airlines flight 153 from Orlando.
First, take off from Florida was delayed several hours because of starter problems with one of the engines. Once the plane arrived here in Chicago, they were greeted by the fire department and a few very frightening moments.
Passengers say they knew something was wrong when they began circling the lake several times after coming in on approach. That is when the pilot informed them a door was open. That door turned out to be a door over the landing gear– and an emergency landing was declared, according to American Airlines.
Several fire department crews met the plane as it was finally able to make its landing at O’Hare on runway 28.
The runway was shut down for a short while and the 107 passengers stayed on board the plane until crews determined it was safe to exit.
Passengers say the plane, an MD 80, appeared very old and question whether it should still be in service. They say the entire ordeal was very frightening.
American Airlines sent us this statement this afternoon about the incident:
“An emergency was declared on approach as a precaution. The plane landed without incident and taxied to the gate under its own power. The safety and reliability of our fleet, as well as the safety of our customers and people, is always American’s top priority.”
No one was injured as a result of the incident and passengers say the Crew was great. American Airlines says the landing gear door issue is unrelated to the mechanical issue prior to takeoff in Orlando.