BackStories » Vietnam Airlines Flight Lands in Da Nang Missing a Front Wheel

Vietnam Airlines Flight Lands in Da Nang Missing a Front Wheel

Have you seen a giant wheel falling from the sky?

When a Vietnam Airlines flight landed in Da Nang yesterday afternoon, everything seemed to be normal. But after technicians carried out a routine examination, they found that the plane’s front wheel was missing. And nobody knows where it went.

Yesterday at 12:45pm, the aircraft departed from the northern city of Hai Phong and landed without incident in Da Nang at 2:15pm.

When ground crews examined the plane to clear it for its next flight, they were surprised to find that one if its two front wheels was missing. After discovering a broken front shaft on the aircraft, they at least know how the wheel fell off.

Le Truong Giang, the spokesman for the national carrier told reporters that this was the first incident of its kind and that the airline will discontinue service of its 14 ATR-72s until an investigation has been completed.

Giang also said that that the aircraft was subject to routine maintenance with its last check on September 21, 2013.

The real mystery is the location of the missing tire – searches at both airports turned up nothing. If the wheel fell to the ground during flight, the airline would be responsible for any damages caused on the ground.

An ATR-72 technician told Tuoi Tre that since the plane lands on its 2 back wheels first, it can still land with only one front tire. As a result, neither the pilots nor the passengers were aware of the potentially fatal flaw.

While all ATR-72s are grounded during the investigation, VNA has had to rearrange hundreds of flights.

[Tuoi Tre // Photo via kenjonbro]

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