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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 October 2007, 21:10 GMT 22:10 UK
Flybe plane lands with burst tyre
Burst tyre on the Flybe 1534 plane to Exeter. Pic: Matthew Hill
A BBC journalist on board said some of the passengers panicked
Passengers were told to adopt the brace position while a Flybe plane landed with a burst tyre at Exeter International Airport.

The pilot radioed Exeter's air traffic control after the front inner tyre burst on take-off from Amsterdam on Thursday afternoon.

The airport was placed on full alert, with emergency services on stand-by.

A Flybe spokesman said the Bombardier Q400 landed safely and none of the 56 passengers or four crew was injured.

Last month Flybe grounded six of its Bombardier Q400 aircraft while safety checks were carried out on their landing gear.

'Nerve-racking'

The Flybe 1534 flight had been scheduled to arrive at 1755 BST but circled for about 30 minutes before landing.

Louise Walter, a BBC South West journalist travelling on the flight, said passengers were told to adopt the brace position - keeping your legs together and leaning forward - for the landing.

She said: "I have flown for years and this was the first time anything like that has happened. It was certainly a nerve-racking one.

Passengers disembarking from the flight in Exeter
Flybe said the plane was designed to land safely after such an incident

"There was a mixed reaction on board. There were a couple people who were behaving in perhaps a way that did not help others - panicking, getting up out of their seats and trying to make phone calls to relatives.

"Most of the rest of the passengers thought well, one burst tyre, it will be ok, there were another three to land on.

"It wasn't until we had to adopt the brace position that we thought, oh my goodness this is serious."

Miss Walters and her boyfriend Matthew Hill heard the tyre burst after take-off and were able to take a photo from their window.

A spokesman for Flybe said the plane was "designed and manufactured to land safely after such an incident".

There was no adverse reaction from the passengers onboard and all disembarked normally and safely on arrival at Exeter, he said.

Bombardier ordered the grounding of almost half of its Q400 turboprop planes after two were involved in landing gear failures in September.

The order led to at least 60 planes being grounded worldwide.

Canadian manufacturer Bombardier was unavailable for comment on Thursday's incident.

SEE ALSO
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