A Green Country pilot is unscathed after making an emergency landing at Tulsa International Airport late Wednesday night without part of his landing gear.
Pilot Jim Bryant said he took off from Claremore Regional Airport for what was supposed to be a quick five-minute flight to make sure everything was working properly ahead of a flight to Texas the next day. Of course, it became much more complicated.
Video taken by Bryant from the cockpit shows the moment he had to make an emergency landing at Tulsa International Airport with no landing gear. He said his energy was focused on getting back to his family safe.
"I wanted to walk away because I'm still married 33 years and had three kids and four grandkids, I didn't want to lose them," said Bryant.
When he took off from Claremore around 9:30 p.m., his landing gear went up but never came back down. That started an hours-long process of troubleshooting, calling his mechanic and even his former flight instructor.
"He was one of my students and so he's a very accomplished pilot," said flight instructor Joe Bacon.
Bryant spent over three hours flying around Tulsa to burn fuel for a safer landing, snapping a few photos while he waited.
"I love to fly at night and see all the beautiful skyline," Bryant said.
With emergency crews waiting, he finally touched down with a landing that impressed FAA officials.
"They said this was one of the best no-wheel landings that they have ever seen, so that was good, made me feel good," said Bryant.
Turns out, this wasn't his first emergency landing. About two years ago, he lost engine power near Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and landed at a nearby airport. He said the plane was totaled, but everyone walked way safe.
"My friends are saying you’re trying every way to land a plane, with no gear, with no engine, regular, and I said, 'yeah I'm good, we don't have to do any other ways.'," he said.
Bryant said he doesn't want events like this to make people think aviation is unsafe. He plans to get back up in the air as soon as possible.