DALLAS – A Boeing 747 Dreamlifter operated by Atlas Air (5Y) landed safely at 2:14 pm local time at Charleston International Airport (CHS) after losing one of its main gear wheels on departure from Taranto-Grottaglie Airport (TAR) this morning in Italy.
According to local media, the plane lost a 100-kilogram wheel as it took off from the Italian airport. The entire incident was captured on film and shared on social media.
Today’s Dreamlifter incident harkens back to a 2014, right outer main gear breakdown involving a Virgin Atlantic (VS) Boeing 747. The jumbo landed safely at London Gatwick Airport (LGW) in the UK.
The Boeing 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter involved in the incident is a wide-body cargo aircraft modified from the Boeing 747-400 airliner. With a volume of 65,000 cubic feet, it can hold three times that of a 747-400F freighter.
The Dreamlifter has 18 tires.
Statement from Boeing
“A Dreamlifter cargo flight operated by Atlas Air landed safely earlier today at Charleston International Airport, after losing a wheel assembly from its landing gear on takeoff from the Taranto-Grottaglie Airport in Italy this morning. We will support our operator’s investigation.”
According to the Italian news outlet, Corriere Della Sera, the flight was carrying Boeing 787 fuselage. Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica business, manufactures the Dreamliner’s central fuselage in Italy. The Italian daily newspaper also mentioned that the fallen wheel was found in a vineyard at the end of the runway.
Featured image: Boeing 747 Dreamlifter. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways