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An Air Canada flight from New York was able to make a safe landing in Toronto on Feb. 18 despite missing a wheel.
The Airbus A319 was making its way to Pearson International from New York’s LaGuardia Airport when the crew declared an in-flight emergency regarding the missing wheel; the aircraft was given priority landing in Toronto as a result, where emergency crews were on standby for its arrival. The A319 was able to land safely and all 120 passengers on board were reported to be secure and unharmed.
“The aircraft, an Airbus A319, experienced an issue with one of its six tires on take-off,” Air Canada said in a statement to CTV.
According to reports in the Toronto Sun, passengers were told to assume the crash position, as the five-person crew was not aware of the extent of the damage to the landing gear.
Upon reaching Toronto’s airspace, the crew requested a fly-by of Pearson’s air traffic control tower so ATC personnel could confirm whether or not the aircraft had lost its wheel.
After the tower confirmed the A319’s outside right-hand main-gear wheel was gone, the pilot inquired as to whether or not the inside right-hand main-gear wheel was still in place.
The tower replied that the inside tire was still in place, but they couldn’t tell whether or not it was inflated – luckily it had been, leading to the safe landing.
The missing wheel has yet to turn up, leading ATC staff to wonder whether or not it had dropped into Lake Ontario while the flight was over the body of water.
The aircraft was taxied to the terminal after passengers disembarked via bus, and is currently still on the ground in Toronto though it is expected to fly out to Calgary on Feb. 20.
Update VIDEO LOST WHEEL Air Canada #AC715 from New York arrived safely in Toronto after losing a wheel (likely on departure at LGA) on their right main landing gear. Aircraft stopped on runway 23. Tow enroute. No injuries. 120 passengers & 5 crew. pic.twitter.com/uZK8Z4hYnX
— Tom Podolec Aviation (@TomPodolec) February 18, 2020
This year has presented a few challenges regarding Air Canada’s landing gear. At the start of January, a viral video was posted to Twitter that showed an Air Canada Dash 8-300 lose its wheel during takeoff from Montreal, forcing it to return.
In early February, an Air Canada Boeing 767 had to circle Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport in Spain for hours in order to burn fuel after a wheel reportedly fell into the engine on takeoff. The flight landed safely after nearly three hours circling Madrid.