United Airlines Boeing Plane Loses Wheel After Takeoff

United Airlines Boeing Plane Loses Wheel After Takeoff
Above: United Airlines Boeing 737-8 prepares for takeoff at Los Angeles International Airport during Memorial Day weekend on May 24, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Image copyright: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The Facts

  • A United Airlines plane flying from Los Angeles, Calif., to Denver, Colo., Monday lost one of its wheels while taking off. The wheel landed on a car in an employee parking lot, but there were no injuries.

  • United said the Boeing 757-200 plane, carrying 174 passengers and seven crewmembers, continued its flight and landed safely in Denver. It added that the aircraft has six tires on each of its landing gear struts and is designed to land with damaged or missing tires.


The Spin

Narrative A

The majority of recent flight failures have involved Boeing planes, and the whole world now knows why. A little over a century ago, Bill Boeing built a plane company that emphasized quality over quantity, but those in charge today have drifted away from that philosophy. Boeing, aided by ineffective federal regulators, has gotten off scot-free too many times, and it must put in the necessary work to regain public trust.

Narrative B

While Boeing has received much well-deserved criticism over its recent manufacturing errors, United Airlines cannot shift all the blame away from its own safety practices. Considering that several of the planes in question were decades old — meaning they've been under the care of the airline, not the original manufacturer — the issues ranging from fallen wheels to broken wings are the responsibility of United Airlines' internal inspectors.


Metaculus Prediction


Sign up to our daily newsletter