The aircraft spent 2 hours in an emergency holding pattern over the sea, in an attempt to reduce its fuel load, before attempting an emergency landing at Belfast.
Airport officials say the plane landed safely but the nose wheel collapsed on the runway, seemingly leaving the aircraft nose unsupported and possibly the nosewheel gear failing to lock in the down position.
Airport fire tenders and rescue teams were deployed but not needed, one person was later reported to be slightly injured.
The incident will effectively close a runway, until lifting gear can be deployed to move the aircraft from the runway to a maintenance area. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is sending an investigation team to Belfast International Airport to investigate an aircraft incident involving a passenger aircraft.
In a statement Flybe said: "Flybe can confirm there has been an incident involving one of our Bombardier Q-400 aircraft, flight no BE331 which landed with no nose gear in place.
"The aircraft departed from Belfast City at 1107 local time bound for Inverness. The incident occurred at Belfast International Airport at approximately 1330 local time.
"There are 52 passengers on board and four crew members.
"Our primary concern is for the welfare of the passengers and crew."
Its not been a good week for flybe as earlier in the week they reported a profits warning and problems with a new IT computer system...
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