INCIDENT | United Flight Diverts to LAX After Mid-Air Tire Loss

A United Airlines flight, bound for Osaka, Japan, was forced to divert to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) after losing a tire mid-air. The Boeing 777-222 (Reg. N226UA) aircraft had taken off from San Francisco when the incident occurred.


The flight, United 35, was carrying a total of 249 people on board taking off from San Francisco. After the tire loss, the aircraft made an emergency landing at LAX. The landing was uneventful and the aircraft stopped about two-thirds of the way down a runway. Fire engines were on standby at LAX but were not needed.

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United Airlines stated that the Boeing 777-200, the model of the aircraft involved, is designed to land safely even with missing or damaged tires. Each of the two main landing gear struts of the 777-200 has six tires. Video footage of Flight 35's departure showed the plane losing one of the six tires on its left-side main landing gear assembly seconds after takeoff.


Debris from the tire landed in an on-airport employee parking lot at San Francisco International Airport. No injuries were reported and the runway was briefly closed to clear the debris but has since reopened. United Airlines is arranging for a new aircraft to continue the trip for the passengers. The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the incident.

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