United Flight Evacuated After Landing Gear Tires Blow Out
A United Airlines flight landed safely at Denver International Airport (DEN) on Monday night, after two of the tires on the Boeing 737 blew out after touching down.
United flight 448 from Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS) landed at DEN before the flight crew discovered the issue with the tires, the airline told the AP. According to United, the tires flattened after landing, and the aircraft was stopped on the taxiway. The 165 people on board were evacuated from the plane and bussed the rest of the way to the terminal. No injuries were reported, and United apologized to its customers for the inconvenience.
Although tires blowing out on a plane can be startling, but it's really not that dangerous, according to aviation experts.
Aviation expert and pilot Patrick Smith told TPG that blown-out tires are “way, way down on the list of hazards” for modern aircraft. “The trick is to land at the slowest speed as possible and hold off pressure,” Smith said.
This isn't the first time an aircraft has made a high-profile landing with blown-out tires this month. Just last week, a private Gulfstream Aerospace GLF-4 carrying rapper Post Malone blew out its front two tires upon takeoff from New Jersey's Teterboro Airport (TEB) on Aug. 21. The public watched with much anticipation as the small jet circled the Northeast to burn off fuel before safely diverting and landing at New York's Stewart Airport (SWF).
Video of a plane in Peru landing with no front wheels also went viral last week. The shower of sparks created by the belly of the plane scraping along the runway makes for dramatic video, but it is not all that treacherous, the experts insist.
To learn more about landing an aircraft with no tires, read this Q&A on the topic by TPG editor-at-large, Zach Honig.