Cameras were rolling when the plane touched down, reports Correspondent Carol Wilkinson of CBS affiliate KLAS-TV. Flames could be seen coming from underneath as the aircraft landed on its belly and skidded to a stop. Firefighters were on the scene and quickly doused the blaze. As soon as the jet stopped, the passengers on board rushed out. No injuries were reported.
Dawn Paparone says she just "turned it over to God" when she learned the jet carrying her family would have to land on its belly after the landing gear failed to lock into place.
"If this is your plan, then I'm glad my children are with me," Paparone said after the pilot of the plane told the family to pray. "I just had to rely on my faith, and I was just grateful that they were with me."
Paparone, her husband, Don, their four children and two pilots walked away after the Beech Hawker Siddeley jet screeched to a halt on a runway. The jet shot flames as it was trailed by fire engines and ambulances.
"It was the most terrifying thing I've ever gone through in my life," the mother told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We didn't know what kind of landing it was going to be. We just held hands and prayed, our whole family together."
The Paparones and their four children, ages 18, 14, 9 and 6, are from Cherry Hill, N.J. They had stopped in Salina, Kan., to refuel and were on their way to Las Vegas.
McCarran spokesman John Hanks said the pilot reported a problem with the landing gear as the plane approached McCarran.
The plane made two passes above the airport control tower to make sure the gear was not down, then circled the Mount Charleston area, northwest of Las Vegas, burning off fuel.