Tower: That Plane Just Lost a Wheel on Takeoff, It’s Rolling By

United Airlines mechanics won’t be able to blame Boeing for a wheel that fell off a 757-200 on Monday. Pilots on an Allegiant flight headed for Tulsa, Oklahoma, noticed the dangerous hazard and called it in to the tower. The pilot on the affected plane probably never noticed it. If they hadn’t been told, the crew would have had quite a surprise landing in Denver, Colorado. All the passengers are safe and “no injuries were reported on the ground.

Detached wheel keeps rolling

Shortly after takeoff from Los Angeles International Airport, a wheel detached from the landing gear of a United Airlines Boeing 757-200, causing quite a stir and some damage on the ground. Thankfully there weren’t any injuries.

The NTSB will be crawling around the maintenance hanger asking awkward questions and demanding to see every single record.

As confirmed by Air Traffic Control recordings, the Allegiant flight radioed in, “a tire came off that 75 that took off, we saw it rolling down past bravo seven, bravo eight.

The wheel went bouncing and rolling right across a parallel runway. Other pilots quickly confirmed the sighting.

Finally, a report came in that “the wheel had finally stopped near the airport’s southwest corner, about three-quarters of a mile from where it was first seen rolling away.

There were 174 customers and seven crewmembers on board, United verifies in a statement. All of them are just fine and will be getting some extra coupons.

The wheel went bouncing and rolling right across a parallel runway.

Recovered in Los Angeles

The amusing wording of the serious statement shows how rattled the airline is by the incident. The way it looks from initial observations, they bear total responsibility for the wheel separating from the aircraft in flight.

The NTSB is guaranteed to make a very big deal about what happened because it never should have come close to happening. The only thing United has going for them is the fact there weren’t any injuries.

The wheel has been recovered in Los Angeles, and we are investigating what caused this event.” It’s a good thing it stayed in the city. The FAA will also be paying them a lengthy visit to chat about their maintenance logs. They have been racking up one “incident” after another since March.

CEO Scott Kirby has been promising customers that the incidents “have our attention and have sharpened our focus.” He needs to twiddle that focus knob a little more after this one.

Making things even worse for the airline, “the incident comes months after another United Airlines flight lost a wheel while taking off from San Francisco International Airport, damaging several cars in a parking lot.” That flight also landed safely without anyone being injured.

Even before these two nearly identical problems happened, the airline was expecting “to see more of an FAA presence in our operation as they begin to review some of our work processes, manuals and facilities.

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