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Boeing at it Again: United Airlines Plane Loses Wheel During Takeoff

Boeing at it Again United Airlines Plane Loses Wheel During Takeoff
Just days after Boeing agreed to pay millions for deadly crashes, another emergency landing is reported.

In a long series of Boeing woes, one of the company’s 757s lost a wheel during takeoff in Los Angeles. According to FlightRadar 24, United Airlines’ Flight 1001 was carrying 174 passengers and seven crew members. 

Boeing has been at the center of several high-profile malfunctions this year, including lost tires, engine failures, and blown-out door plugs. Boeing has said that “it has taken important steps to foster a safety culture,” and incidents that have occurred might not be Boeing’s responsibility but rather the responsibility of the airlines that operate and maintain the aircraft. 

The mishap comes just days after the Justice Department announced Boeing would plead guilty to a criminal fraud conspiracy charge from two deadly crashes of its 737 Max 8 planes that killed 346 passengers and crew and will cough up a $243.6 million fine.

The plea deal was in response to the two crashes. One was in Indonesia, where Lion Air pilots did not know about the flight-control software that could push the nose of the plane down without their input. The second was in Ethiopia, where Ethiopian Airlines knew about the software but were not able to control the plane when the software activated due to information about a faulty sensor.

The DOJ charged Boeing in 2021 with deceiving FAA regulators about the software, which did not exist in the older 737s, and about a lack of adequate training for pilots to fly the new planes safely. At the time, the department agreed not to prosecute Boeing if it paid a massive $2.5 billion settlement on top of the $243.6 million fine and complied with anti-fraud laws for the next three years.

An independent monitor will oversee Boeing’s safety efforts and quality procedures over the next three years. The plea is meant to cover only wrongdoing by the company before the crashes and does not include immunity for other catastrophic incidents Boeing has been responsible for, including a panel that blew off a plane during an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 flight in January, according to the DOJ.

After a 20-month ban on the 737 Max flights, things went relatively smoothly until the Alaska Airlines Max 9 incident.

No injuries were reported on the ground or in the flight in the 757 incident, and the 29-year-old plane continued from Los Angeles to Denver without further incident. The missing wheel was later discovered, according to a statement by United, which also added that it was investigating what had happened.

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