Chris Krepski of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, says the plane was enroute early Monday night to Hay River, N.W.T. from Yellowknife.
He says shortly after takeoff, the flight crew declared an emergency and returned to Yellowknife to land.
But Krepski says the plane, operated by Buffalo Airways, landed short of the runway, landing on its belly.
He says there were no injuries to the three crew and 21 passengers.
TSB officials will be in Yellowknife on Tuesday morning to investigate.