Wheel Falls Off Troubled 737 Passenger Jet

The wheel literally falls off a Boeing 737 jet loaded with passengers as it is forced to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff.

Worried airport safety staff at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, had noticed the FlySafair aircraft had damaged its undercarriage on take off on 21st April.

After being ordered back, the pilots made a low pass over the runway so engineers could inspect the damage.

They found one of four rear wheels had been clipped during takeoff and ordered the plane down.

But video footage of the landing shows the wheel disintegrating as the plane tried to taxi down the runway.


The clip shows flight FA212 with smoke billowing from the damaged wheel.

Seconds later there was a huge bang and parts of the wheel flew off as the undercarriage collapsed sending the jet leaning sideways towards its port (left) wing as it ground to a halt towards the end of the footage.

Miraculously no one was injured in the drama, reported local media, and passengers were evacuated and offered another flight.

Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair, said after the incident: “After take-off, ground staff at OR Tambo reported witnessing what appeared to be damage to one of the aircraft back wheels.

“The crew were alerted to the observation and the decision was taken to return to Johannesburg.”

The aircraft then entered a holding pattern to burn off fuel for a safer landing.

Gordon said: “This is standard procedure when there is no urgency to land, as it’s safer to land with a lighter fuel load, and modern Boeing 737 aircraft do not have the facility to dump fuel.”

Before landing, the plane made a low pass over the airport so technical teams could visually inspect the landing gear, the airline said.

Gordon added: “The aircraft passed overhead at approximately 13:20, and observers confirmed that one of the four rear wheels had come adrift during the take-off roll.

“The wheel affected was one of the two attached to the left rear landing strut.

FlySafair plane bound for Cape Town loses a wheel during take-off in South Africa, undated. The plane reportedly suffered damage to one of its rear tires. (Newsflash)

“Response vehicles were activated to greet the plane as a precautionary measure.

“After landing, the aircraft was inspected by safety and engineering teams on the runway before the plane was brought back to the terminal.”

Regional General Manager Jabulani Khambule said: “We would like to praise the FlySafair pilots and crew for their professional handling of this emergency.

“Their training and experience ensured that all passengers on board the plane walked away unscathed.”

The incident comes amid a series of recent accidents involving the troubled 737 plane raising safety questions among worried passengers.

In January this year, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 lost a rear door plug in midflight, prompting a six-week audit by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which reportedly found dozens of issues in the production process.

The FAA said it would not let Boeing expand manufacture until it is satisfied with its quality control.

Just days ago Boeing engineer turned whistleblower Sam Salehpour told a US Senate inquiry panel that the way some Boeings are manufactured “significantly reduced” safety.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below. Story By: Simona Kitanovska, Sub-Editor: Simona Kitanovska, Agency: Newsflash

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