Pilot and passenger make safe landing after declaring emergency over Walla Walla

<p>N1563H (far left) lands safely after reporting mechanical problems over Walla Walla.</p>

N1563H (far left) lands safely after reporting mechanical problems over Walla Walla.

WALLA WALLA – A pilot and passenger are safely on the ground after reporting mechanical problems this afternoon while flying over Walla Walla.

The pilot of the single-engine Cessna 177RG contacted the tower at Walla Walla Regional Airport around 2:45 Saturday afternoon and said there was a problem with the front landing gear and that it was unknown if the front landing gear was down and locked into position.

The plane circled overhead as firefighters positioned themselves along the runway.   Before attempting to land, the pilot and passenger told the tower that they even tried lowering the landing gear manually by use of a hand crank.

The plane finally landed safely on Runway 20 and was immediately followed by fire crews to a parking spot near the old terminal.

FAA records show the plane is owned by the Spokane Cardinal Corporation of Medical Lake, Washington.

The identity of the pilot and passenger have has not been released.