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Business jet makes emergency landing on front wheels in Siberia


NOVOSIBIRSK, January 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee launched on Wednesday an investigation into the emergency landing of a private jet in Western Siberia, a Novosibirsk airport spokeswoman said.

The Cessna 560 touched down on its front wheels after the rear landing gear failed to release. None of the four people on board was hurt.

The plane was en route from Austria to the Siberian city of Barnaul in the Altai territory near China and Mongolia when the pilot notified dispatchers at 9:05 pm Moscow time (18:05 GMT) that the rear wheels would not release for landing.

The pilot requested an emergency landing at a larger airport in Novosibirsk about 200 kilometers to the north of Barnaul, which is better equipped to handle emergencies.

At 11:42 p.m. Moscow time (20:42 GMT) the Cessna landed using only its front wheels on a dirt landing strip next to the main runway at Tolmachyovo Airport in Novosibirsk, Russia's third largest city.

"The airplane made three test fly-bys and specialists at the airport visually confirmed that only the front landing gear of the airplane was locked and the rear wheels were not released," Tolmachyovo spokeswoman Olga Kochyotova said.

She said that the jet made its emergency landing after first circling the airport in order to burn off excess fuel. The airport's emergency services were on full alert, but their services were not needed, Kochyotova said.

The Cessna 560 is a dual-engine business-class jet that can carry up to eight passengers plus a crew of two.

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