April 15, 2024


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A tire falls off a United plane after takeoff from SFO Airport – NBC Bay Area

A tire falls off a United plane after takeoff from SFO Airport – NBC Bay Area

A tire fell off a United Airlines plane as it took off from San Francisco International Airport Thursday morning and landed in a nearby parking lot, damaging several vehicles, officials said.

The tire from Japan-bound United Flight 35, which was diverted to Los Angeles, ended up landing in the airport employee parking lot, Fire Marshal Doug Yakel said. No injuries were reported.

Video footage captured the moment a Boeing 777-200 tire came off the rear landing gear seconds after the plane took off.

Watch a tire fall off a United Airlines plane as it takes off from San Francisco International Airport.

The runway was closed briefly to allow crews to remove debris, Yakel said. There was no further impact on airport operations.

Flight 35 was headed to Osaka, Japan, before being diverted to Los Angeles International Airport, where it landed safely.

The Boeing 777 has six tires on each of its two main landing struts, according to the airline. It is designed for landing with missing or damaged tires.

A United plane made an emergency landing after losing a tire while taking off from San Francisco International Airport. Retired pilot Doug Rice joins Janelle Wang to discuss the accident.

Two aviation experts, with decades of experience as pilots, couldn't stress enough how rare tires that come off a plane are.

“It's remarkable that this happened at all,” aviation expert Mike McCarron said. “Fortunately, no one was injured.”

When asked if he thought it was a Boeing problem or a United problem, McCarron said, “It's like you bought a Chevy two or three years ago and the wheel came off. Well, who's servicing your car for you at that time? That's where I think Really they would focus on United's maintenance procedures and look at their paperwork and see where things happened. Now, if they point out a structural problem, they will involve Boeing in terms of building the aircraft.”

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While the plane has six tires on each side and is capable of landing without one of those wheels, there are still concerns that something else could be damaged for the plane to land safely, said Doug Rice, who has flown commercial airlines for 42 years.

“This is also why they did not take the plane off the runway,” he said. “They parked it. They left the plane there. The fire department came out, airport operations went out. That's also why they towed the plane to the gate because they didn't want to risk any problems with the plane.”

Aviation expert Mike McCarron joins NBC Bay Area's Janelle Wang to discuss a United plane making an emergency landing after losing a tire during takeoff at San Francisco International Airport.

The plane was carrying a total of 249 people, 235 passengers, 10 flight attendants and 4 pilots, according to the airline.

Records show the plane was delivered from Boeing to United 22 years ago.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will examine the plane and the wheel itself to try to determine how it fell.

United said the customers boarded a new plane at Los Angeles Airport to continue their journey to Osaka.

“We are grateful to our pilots and flight attendants for their professionalism in managing this situation. We are also grateful to our teams on the ground who were waiting in Qatar to move the plane shortly after it landed and to our teams at the airport who assisted customers upon arrival,” United said in a statement. “We will work with customers.” As well as with owners of affected vehicles in SFO to ensure their needs are met.”

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