SFO – NBC A tire fell off a United flight after takeoff from the Bay Area

Several vehicles were damaged after a United Airlines flight took off from San Francisco International Airport Thursday morning after a tire fell off and landed in a nearby parking lot, officials said.

The tire, which was diverted from Japan-bound United Flight 35 to Los Angeles, landed in an airport employee parking lot, SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said. No injuries were reported.

Video footage captured the moment the Boeing 777-200's tire came off the rear landing gear seconds after takeoff.

Watch the tire of a United Airlines flight take off from San Francisco International Airport.

The runway was closed briefly to allow crews to clear the debris, Yakel said. There is no impact on airport operations.

Flight 35 was en route to Osaka, Japan, diverted to Los Angeles International Airport, where it landed safely.

A Boeing 777 has six tires on each of its two main landing gear struts, the airline said. It is designed to land with missing or damaged tires.

A United flight lost a tire on takeoff at San Francisco International Airport and made an emergency landing. Retired pilot Doug Rice discusses the incident with Janelle Wang.

Two aviation experts with decades of experience as airline pilots can't stress enough how rare it is for a flat tire to come off an airplane.

“It's remarkable what happened,” said aviation expert Mike McCarron. “Luckily no one was hurt.”

Asked if he thought it was a Boeing problem or a United problem, McCarron said, “It's like you bought a Chevy two, three years ago and a wheel went bad. Well, who's going to maintain your car at that time? I think they're going to look at United's maintenance procedures, looking at their documents. , look at where things have gone, and now, if they point out a structural problem, you're going to make Boeing. Airplane.”

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Doug Rice, who has flown for commercial airlines for 42 years, said that even though the plane has six tires on each side and is capable of landing without one of those wheels, there is still concern that something else could be damaged until the plane lands safely.

“This is why they didn't move the plane off the runway,” he said. “They stopped it. They left the plane there. The fire department came out, airport operations came out. That's why they towed the plane to the gate to make sure there was no problem with the plane.”

Aviation expert Mike McCarron joins NBC Bay Area's Janelle Wang to discuss the emergency landing of a United flight that lost a tire on takeoff at San Francisco International Airport.

A total of 249 people were on board – 235 customers, 10 flight attendants and 4 pilots, the airline said.

Records show the plane was delivered to United from Boeing 22 years ago.

Investigators from the FAA and NTSB will examine the plane and the wheel to try to determine how it fell.

United said customers boarded a new flight at LAX to continue their journey to Osaka.

“We are grateful for the expertise of our pilots and flight attendants in managing this situation. We are grateful to our teams on the ground who waited in tow to move the plane once it landed, and to our teams at the airport who assisted customers upon arrival,” United said in a statement. “We will work with customers and the owners of damaged vehicles at the SFO to ensure their needs are addressed.”

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