A de Havilland Dash 8-200, N351PH, operating flight UCA4820 for United Express departed the Flint-Bishop International Airport (KFNT) at approximately 2245Z (18:45L) on an IFR flight from Flint to Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport (KCLE).
Approximately 1 minute after receiving a takeoff clearance for Runway 27, a voice can be heard over the radio saying "and Tower," followed by silence. 5 seconds later, the tower controller asks "Commutair 4820, was that you calling Flint Tower?" There is no response for 6 seconds. Tower states, "Commutair 4820, contact departure. Have a good flight." The crew states "Tower, 4820, we're going to have to return to the field here. The gear pins are still in there."
The tower controller instructed the crew to enter a right downwind for Runway 27. The controller also passed along an observation that the main gear were down but the nose gear was up. The pilot responded with an explanation that pins were still left in the main landing gear. (A lot of the response to the tower controller is indiscernible.)
The tower controller asked for souls on board and fuel remaining in minutes, to which the pilot responded "Oh, a lot of fuel for probably a couple hours of the flight, and then we just have 3 crewmembers and then 1 mechanic -- 4 souls." The ARFF trucks were rolled, the crew landed the aircraft, and then the aircraft taxiied back to the gate with ARFF trucks in trail.
A source at the airport tells me that the aircraft had undergone a change of both main tires prior to the flight.