ANN REALTIME REPORTING
05.02.06 1925 EDT: All is well as the Continental ExpressJet
Embraer 145XR that has been circling the Houston area for the past
two hours and 15 minutes... after one if the jet's left maingear
tires blew out on takeoff... landed safe and sound moments ago on
Runway 15L at George Bush Intercontinental (IAH).
Pictures taken during one of two tower flybys after the tire
blew seemed to show both tires on the gear hub had been shredded
off... but as the jet came in to land, it appeared enough of the
inboard tire remained to cushion the landing somewhat; in fact,
there were no sparks at all, indictating that metal never made
contact with the runway.
A textbook landing... well done, guys. (Or, as John King put
it... "duck soup.")
A Continental Express EMB-145XR heading from Houston's George
Bush Intercontinental Airport to Minneapolis-St. Paul blew two
tires on the left maingear on takeoff, and is now circling the
Houston area to burn off fuel before making an emergency landing
Continental Express Flight 3161 took off from IAH at
approximately 4:00 pm CDT. The plane's pilots contacted the tower
immediately afterward to report the suspected tire failure. A tower
fly-by confirmed that both tires have shredded away from the
maingear hub, leaving only the metal rim.
Despite the drama inherent in such a situation -- and that the
incident is occurring right in the early evening news cycle, on the
second day of May sweeps -- in a welcome change from the
previously-established norm, cooler heads seem to be prevailing on
network and cable television coverage so far.
(Graphic courtesy Flightaware.com)
"If you haven't accidentally blown tires during your training,
they're going to make sure you know how to handle that
situation before you're signed off," King Schools' John King told
"This is really duck
soup," King added. "This is well within the pilots'
The aircraft has made two flybys of the tower to confirm the
extent of the damage. Media reports have stated the pilot was
initially going to land before the first flyby, but was then waved
off by ground crews.
Continental representatives told CNN there are 45 passengers
onboard the 50-passenger jet, and three crewmembers.
The aircraft departed Runway 9 at IAH. As the jet has circled,
crews closed the runway and have cleared debris left from the blown
tires. All other runways at IAH are operational, and airport
representatives report no delays.
At the moment, the wind is favoring Runway 15L -- which is just
over 12,000 ft. long -- for the emergency landing.
According to the flight's revised flight plan, the aircraft is
expected to touch down at approximately 6:15 CDT.