Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Losing Wheel

A Flybe plane traveling from Exeter International Airport in the U.K. had to make an emergency landing yesterday after losing a wheel shortly after takeoff.

The Bombardier Q400 had 39 passengers and four crew aboard en route to Newcastle when the incident occurred, reports the Daily Mail.

After a wheel detached from the undercarriage, the pilot was forced to circle the airport for about 90 minutes to off-load fuel before re-landing safely. Roads were closed to divert traffic away from the site.

Martin Brown, a passenger on the flight said he felt the undercarriage rock during take-off. "There were just sparks coming off the central part of the wheel where it spins around," Brown said, reports Newsquest Media Group.

"As we were taking off, the wheel started to move up in the undercarriage," Brown continued. "I do not know whether the doors of the undercarriage mistimed, or whatever, but one of the wheels hit the door and the tire went flying off the wheel. And because, I guess, all of the mechanism crashed together, there was a large piece of metal sticking out of the side of the undercarriage."

A spokesman for the airline tells the media outlet, "The captain decided it was serious enough to turn back. The airport went into full emergency stations with three appliances on standby to meet the aircraft. After the aircraft landed, they escorted it to a safe area on the runway where passengers got out. These things are routine, but dramatic on the day."

No injuries were reported from the incident.

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