Tire Falls Off United Boeing 777 Departing San Francisco

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Lefty loosey instead of righty tighty?

A United Boeing 777 departing San Francisco (SFO) on March 7 destined to Osaka (KIX), lost one of its tires shortly after takeoff. In the clip captured by Cali Planes during one of their regular airport ops live streams, the rear right-side tire on the left main gear comes loose just moments before retraction. Boeing 777s have two main landing gears, each comprising of six tires split across three pairs.

Flight UA35, which was operated by a 22-year-old United Boeing 777-200ER (registered N226UA), ended up diverting to Los Angeles (LAX) and spent about 2 1/2 hours in the air as the pilots co-ordinated with air traffic control and their operations center to figure out their next best move.

Unfortunately the rebellious tire ended up in one of the airport employee parking lots, causing signficant damage to a number of cars.

SFO’s Runway 28 Right was temporarily closed to clear debris, and the Osaka-bound passengers were set to be re-accommodated on another United Boeing 777 out of LAX. In a statement to media, United said:

“United flight 35 lost one tire after takeoff from San Francisco and landed at LAX. Our team quickly arranged for a new aircraft to take customers to Osaka this evening.

“We’re grateful to our pilots and flight attendants for their professionalism in managing this situation. We’re also grateful to our teams on the ground who were waiting with a tug to move the aircraft soon after it landed and to our teams in the airport who assisted customers upon their arrival. We will work with customers as well as with the owners of the damaged vehicles in SFO to ensure their needs are addressed.”

Thankfully there were no injuries are a result of the runaway tire, but of course the matter will be investigated, with maintenance being the first area of interest. Even though Boeing has had its name dragged through the mud because of the whole MAX debacle, I’m willing to bet this is simply a case of a maintenance slip up given how reliable 777s are generally.

If you’re interested in hearing the air traffic control side of things, VASaviation did a nice video recapping the incident.

WHEEL FALLS OFF UNITED AIRCRAFT during Takeoff at San Francisco!

[Featured Photo: Cali Planes/YouTube ]

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