United Airlines Flight 1551 landed without incident after a tire problem


United Airlines experienced many tires incidents in the recent past. In November, United flight 961 from Frankfurt, , had a rough landing at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport after an incident which involved ruptured tires.


In December, United Airlines had to abort take-off from Newark Liberty International Airport on Christmas Eve, due to a blown tire in its left landing gear. The blown tire led to a damaged engine. Tire failure is rare, but when they fail on landing, the usual failure mode is a blowout. On takeoff, if a tire fails, the usual failure mode is to throw a tread. a blowout on landing does not significantly reduce the safety margin. After all, the plane is on the ground at that point. Not so in a failure on takeoff. The tire manufacturer, the airframe manufacturer, the airline’s engineer responsible for tires, the tire shop, all work to make sure that tire failures remain rare events.


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