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Videos: Plane loses tire during takeoff

A United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplane takes off from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as seen from El Segundo, California, on Sept. 11, 2023. (Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images/TNS)
March 08, 2024

A United Airlines Boeing 777-200 airplane lost one of its tires during takeoff from San Francisco International Airport on Thursday, causing significant damage to multiple cars after the tire landed in a parking lot.

NBC Bay Area reported that United Flight 35 was originally scheduled to fly to Japan on Thursday; however, the missing tire incident forced the plane to land in Los Angeles. United Flight 35 had 249 total people on the Boeing aircraft, including passengers, flight attendants, and pilots.

A video of Thursday’s incident shows the Boeing 777-200 departing from San Fransisco International Airport before losing the tire from its rear landing gear just after takeoff.

According to NBC Bay Area, a Boeing 777-200 has six tires on each of the plane’s two sets of rear landing gear. While the plane was forced to land in Los Angeles, the aircraft was constructed to land safely with missing or damaged tires.

Doug Yakel, a spokesman for the San Francisco International Airport, said the missing tire from United Flight 35 landed in an airport employee parking lot. While no injuries were reported from the incident, multiple cars were significantly damaged by the falling tire.

Mike McCarron, an aviation expert, told NBC Bay Area, it was “remarkable” that the tire came off the Boeing airplane. Asked whether the issue was likely caused by Boeing or United Airlines, McCarron said, “It’s like you bought a Chevy two, three years ago and the wheel came off. Well, who’s maintaining your car for you at that time?”

“This is where I really think they’ll be focusing on United’s maintenance procedures and look at their paperwork and see where things happened,” he added. “Now, if they point to a structural problem, then you’re going to get Boeing involved as far as the build of the aircraft.”

READ MORE: Audio: Plane door falls off mid-flight

NBC Bay Area reported that both the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will inspect the United Airlines plane and the missing wheel to determine what caused Thursday’s dangerous incident.

In a statement obtained by ABC 7 News, United Airlines said the passengers were able to board a new plane to Japan after United Flight 35 landed in Los Angeles. The airline expressed gratitude for the “professionalism” of the company’s pilots and flight attendants, who navigated the situation without any injuries.

United Airlines added, “We will work with customers as well as with the owners of the damaged vehicles in SFO to ensure their needs are addressed.”