Small plane emergency belly landing at Iowa airport causes flight delays

A small plane made an emergency belly landing at the Des Moines airport Saturday morning, temporarily delaying all flights to and from the airport.

Both people aboard the Mooney airplane walked away from the landing unhurt. Des Moines International Airport spokeswoman Kayla Kovarna said all flights into and out of the airport were delayed for about two hours until the plane could be removed from the runway shortly before noon. Because of construction, the airport currently has only one runway in operation.

The airport went on alert after the plane’s pilot reported a technical problem around 9:45 a.m. The pilot was forced to make the emergency landing after it became clear that the plane’s landing gear could not be lowered.

Kovarna said nine departing flights were delayed while the runway was closed.

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to investigate the incident.