Why do the wheels keep falling off Boeing planes?

Why do the wheels keep falling off Boeing planes?

A Boeingplane operated by United Airlines lost a wheel mere seconds after takeoff in the second such incident in months.

Flight 1001 was departing Los Angeles International Airport around 7am on Monday when one of its main landing gear tires dropped, according to United Airlines.

The Boeing 757-200 continued on to its destination in Denverand landed safely about three hours later.

None of the 179 passengers or seven crew members on board were hurt.

‘The wheel has been recovered in Los Angeles, and we are investigating what caused this event,’ United Airlines told ABC News.

Other aircraft reported a tire rolling across the LAX runway, according to RadarBox, which cited the X (formerly Twitter) account @thenewarea51.

Flight 1001 landed at 10.51am local time, which was a delay from its original 10.28am scheduled landing, according to RadarBox.

What caused the wheel to detach mid-flight was not immediately known.

The incident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

It follows a strikingly similar incident in March in which a tire fell from United Airlines Flight 35 as it took off from San FranciscoInternational Airport. The plane was diverted to LAX and landed safely.

Tire debris from Flight 35 was found in an airport employee car park and had damaged several vehicles.

Video from Flight 35’s takeoffshowed one of the wheels falling off the landing gear about five seconds after the wheels left the tarmac.

Monday’s Flight 1001 wheel detachment happened hours after Boeing said it would plead guilty to a criminal fraud charge linked to the 737 Max crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

What did Boeing admit?

Boeing agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States — in this case, deceiving the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Justice Department first filed that charge in 2021, but it agreed not to prosecute Boeing if it paid a fine and successfully completed three years of a form of corporate probation under what is called a deferred-prosecution agreement.

In May, however, the department determined that Boeing had not lived up to that agreement, setting in motion the events that led to Sunday’s plea deal.

The agreement could help Boeing resolve a black mark on its reputation — the felony charge that the American aerospace giant deceived regulators who approved the airplane and the pilot-training requirements to fly it safely.

What did Boeing agree to do?

Boeing will pay another fine, bringing the total to $487.2 million, which the Justice Department says is the legal maximum for the fraud charge.

The deal also requires the company to invest at least $455 million to improve safety.

It will be on court-supervised probation for three years, and the Justice Department will name an independent monitor to oversee Boeing’s compliance with terms of the plea agreement.

Boeing’s board of directors will be required to meet with families of the victims.

How are relatives of the crash victims reacting?

Many are outraged by the agreement.

Zipporah Kuria, a 28-year-old Londoner woman whose father, Joseph, was on the Ethiopian Airlines Max that crashed in March 2019, wanted a trial that she thinks would have unearthed new details about what led up to the crashes.

Now, with the likelihood that there will never be a trial, ‘the opportunity to continue digging, the opportunity to continue finding out what has gone wrong here and what is wrong, is kind of taken away from us,’ she said.

‘So yet again, they (the victims) have been robbed of their dignity, and we have been robbed of our closure.’

Javier de Luis, an MIT aeronautics lecturer whose sister, Graziella, died in the Ethiopia crash, also finds the punishment for Boeing to be inadequate.

‘If you look at the elements that make up this plea agreement, they’re pretty much typical for what you would expect to see in a white-collar fraud investigation – not in the case of a crime that led directly to the deaths of 346 people,’ he said.

Nadia Milleron, a Massachusetts resident whose 24-year-old daughter, Samya Stumo, died in the same crash, wants Boeing’s current and previous CEOs to face charges.

‘After the Indonesian crash, they knew that something was wrong with this plane, and they knew it could crash,” she said. “They gambled with people’s lives, and they are gambling right now.’

What effect would a conviction have on Boeing?

Boeing’s business has never fully recovered from the crashes.

After the renewed scrutiny that followed the Alaska Airlines incident, the company failed to book any new orders for the Max in April and May.

It has fallen even farther behind European rival Airbus in production and deliveries of new planes, which means less revenue is coming in.

All of this is happening while Boeing looks for a new CEO to replace David Calhoun, who says he will step down at the end of the year.

That said, the share price of the company’s stock rose slightly Monday.

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