Now Tires Are Falling Off Planes

No one was injured in San Francisco incident, though some cars were damaged
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2024 6:23 AM CST

A 265-pound tire fell from a plane moments after it took off from San Francisco International Airport on Thursday. Footage shows the tire dropping from the Boeing 777-200 as the rear landing gear was retracting shortly before 11am. "Towards the end of the runway it was still bouncing 100 and some feet in the air," a voice says on an air traffic control recording, per Fox 11. Thankfully no one was hurt—unless you count cars. The tire made its way to an on-site employee parking lot, where it wreaked havoc, partially taking down a fence, smashing windows, and denting two vehicles, reports NBC Bay Area. The runway was briefly closed due to debris.

United Flight 35, en route to Osaka, Japan, with 235 passengers and 14 crew, was diverted to Los Angeles International Airport, where it landed safely. The Boeing 777 with "six tires on each of its two main landing gear struts" is "designed to land with missing or damaged tires," NBC reports. Still, experts say it's incredibly rare for a tire to come off a plane. A flight attendant who saw the damage told Fox 11 it was unnerving as the tire struck close to an area where people walk. She also said it's not unusual for employees to spend time in their cars. "We will work with customers as well as with the owners of the damaged vehicles in SFO to ensure their needs are addressed," United said. Passengers boarded another plane in Los Angeles before continuing on to Osaka. (More United Airlines stories.)

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