Two Landing Gear Incidents Receive National Attention
Some days, it's just
better to stay in the hangar... and that was the case for two
Embraer 145 regional jets Tuesday, as the jets -- flying for
different carriers -- experienced apparent landing gear tire
failures at airports over 900 miles apart. Those incidents resulted
in a fair amount of national media attention, but no injuries.
American Eagle Flight 348 was arriving at Chicago's O'Hare
International Tuesday afternoon when it veered off the runway,
moments after tower controllers saw a puff of smoke coming from the
plane's landing gear. No one onboard was injured as the plane came
to rest in the grass about 25 feet off the runway.
An initial examination of the plane following the incident found
one of the tires was flat, American Eagle spokesman Dave Jackson
told the Associated Press.
"We can't say for sure that's the cause, but it's the first
thing we'll be looking at," Jackson said.
Normally, such incidents receive little attention outside of
local media (for that matter, if ANN reported on all similar
incidents that occur on any given day, there'd be no room left on
the screen for TFRs and Klyde Morris) -- but within hours the
O'Hare incident would be cited by the national media in the wake of
another incident, this time in Houston.
As Aero-News reported, an
Embraer 145XR flying for ExpressJet Airlines as Continental Express
Flight 3161 made an uneventful emergency landing at Houston's
George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 6:20 pm local time,
approximately one hour and 15 minutes after a tire on the plane's
left maingear blew out during takeoff.
After two tower flybys, the plane circled the Houston area to
burn off fuel before coming in for landing -- and THAT gave news
commentators plenty of time to review possible scenarios, talk to
experts... and mention the earlier American Eagle flight, sidelined
with an unrelated but eerily similar problem.
Fortunately, the pilots of the Continental flight -- carrying 45
passengers and a crew of three -- brought it in for a
picture-perfect landing, with not even a single spark flying as the
aircraft landed on Runway 15L in the watchful eye of
TV viewers across the nation.