Western Air flight 701 took off from the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) bound for Grand Bahama early Wednesday morning. Shortly after take off, the flight had to return to LPIA for an emergency landing due to landing gear malfunction.

Vice President and General Counsel of Western Air, Sherrexcia Rolle explained what happened on the flight to ZNS News. “Essentially once the aircraft took off the captain received an indication that his nose landing gear did not fully retract and so once he completed his climb sequence and appropriate checks he decided to perform a few low approaches to allow for visual inspection to confirm his gear position. Once it was indicated to him that his gear did in fact look down and locked he then proceeded to land safely.”

Rolle further explained, “the majority of passengers opted to fly on the next flight into Freeport and, of course, we’re doing our internal review and reports on today’s flight.”

One of the passengers on the flight was Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama, the Hon. Kwase Thompson who recounted part of his experience. “Folks started to get a little concerned when we had to make several attempts to land and then the final time that we were going into land, the stewardess then came on. She started shouting with a loud voice ’emergency emergency’ to put your heads down and I guess brace for whatever would have occurred. Folks did a lot of praying.”