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United Airlines Plane Makes a Safe Emergency Landing in LA After Losing a Tire During Takeoff
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By Associated Press
Published 1 month ago on
March 8, 2024

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The flight carried 235 passengers and a crew of 14, all of whom were safe.

Aviation experts said planes losing tires is a rare occurrence and not indicative of a larger safety issue.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the incident.


LOS ANGELES — A United Airlines jetliner bound for Japan made a safe landing in Los Angeles on Thursday after losing a tire while taking off from San Francisco.

Fire engines stood by at Los Angeles International Airport but weren’t needed, as the Boeing 777 made an uneventful landing and stopped about two-thirds of the way down a runway. Airport spokesman Dae Levine said the plane landed safely.

It was then towed away.

The flight carried 235 passengers and a crew of 14, United said. The airline said that the plane, built in 2002, was designed to land safely with missing or damaged tires. The passengers will be moved to another plane for the rest of the trip, United said.

Boeing 777s have six tires on each of the two main landing gears. Video of Flight 35 departing shows the plane losing one of the six tires on its left-side main landing gear assembly seconds after takeoff.

Aviation experts said planes losing tires is a rare occurrence and not indicative of a larger safety issue.

“In aviation, we never want to have single points of failure if they can be avoided, and this is a case in point,” said Alan Price, a former chief pilot for Delta Air Lines.

“The remaining tires are fully capable of handling the load,” he added.

Price said a loose tire it’s normally a maintenance issue and not a problem created by the manufacturer.

John Cox, a retired pilot and professor of aviation safety at the University of Southern California, agreed. “I don’t see any impact for Boeing as it was a United maintenance team that changed the tire,” he said.

Aftermath of the Incident

Tire debris landed in an on-airport employee parking lot at San Francisco International Airport, airport spokesman Doug Yakel said in a statement. No one was injured. The runway was briefly closed to clear debris, but it has now reopened, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate, spokesman Tony Molinaro said.

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