Updated: May 24, 2012 7:28 PM
SANTA FE (KRQE) — It could have been much much worse.
Gov. Susana Martinez was on a plane Wednesday night that made a belly landing after the pilot forgot to put down the landing gear.
No one was hurt, but the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the rough landing.
The governor, her husband Chuck Franco, Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler and the pilot, Sid Strebeck, were returning from a campaign event for state Senate candidate Angie Spears.
The wind was kicking at the Santa Fe Airport as they approached.
"It was just too windy with those crosswinds,” Martinez said. “So he made a loop around one more time."
When the pilot looped around he brought up the landing gear, but on his second attempt he forgot to put the gear back down.
Martinez said she quickly noticed something was not right when they hit the ground.
"The sound of metal on the asphalt and the sparks along the side,” she said.
The single-engine plane suffered minor damage to the propeller and radar.
"I feel like God's hand was on us,” Strebeck said.
Strebeck has more than 30 years of flying experience, and said the governor did not give him grief.
"She was very very supportive, like any friend you would expect to be,” he said.
The governor said she will gladly fly again and joked about getting off the plane that was sitting on its belly.
"We didn't have to take several steps down,” she said with a laugh. “We just sort of hopped over the door.”
FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford told KRQE News 13 he was not sure when the report on the incident would be complete.
Lundsford said pilots can be punished for forgetting their landing gear.
The punishment can range from re-training to license suspension, he said.
No state money was used for the flight.
The Spears campaign, which held the meet and greet in Tucumcari, paid for the plane ride.
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