Incident: United 757 Loses Wheel On Departure

By Spyros Georgilidakis | July 9, 2024

A United Airlines Boeing 757 lost a wheel as it took off but later landed safely, in an incident that isn’t unprecedented for the airline.

This incident happened on Monday, the 8th of July. It involved United Airlines flight UA-1001, a daily morning service departing from Los Angeles International Airport (KLAX). The flight’s destination is Denver International Airport (KDEN).

Incident: United 757 Loses Wheel On Departure
The incident aircraft. Photo: U-95, CC BY-SA 4.0

United typically uses a Boeing 757 for this flight, which is what it used on the day of this wheel incident. The flight had 174 passengers and 7 crew on board and departed with a 15-minute delay at 7:15 AM, using runway 25R at LAX.

As the United 757 took off, crews in other aircraft immediately notified the tower that it had lost a wheel. It would later transpire that the wheel came from one of the 757’s main gear legs. 757s have bogies with four wheels on each leg.

Incident: United 757 Loses Wheel On Departure
Photo: Curimedia, CC BY 2.0

United 757 Lands Safely, Minus a Wheel

It is not clear how quickly the United flight crew learned that their 757 lost a wheel. However, the crew performed their checklists and elected to continue to their destination. They reportedly declared an emergency as they got closer to Denver, setting up an approach into runway 34L.

The United flight crew landed their 757 safely after telling the passengers to brace. They then vacated the runway before stopping. They spent about half an hour sitting on a taxiway before the aircraft reached a gate where the passengers could disembark.

As of this writing, the incident aircraft remains in Denver. This is a nearly 30-year-old Boeing 757-200, with tail number N14107. United has been taking delivery of A321neos to replace its aging 757 fleet but still has 61 757s in total.

Photo: Marko Pavlichenko

Unfortunately for United, this 757 isn’t the first of its aircraft to lose a wheel this year. The airline has come under scrutiny by the FAA in recent months after a number of aircraft issues, including a 777 that lost a wheel on departure.

The FAA has placed some restrictions on United’s route expansion plans as it investigates the causes of what it sees as a worrying trend.


Leave the first comment