The flight departed Tampa and was scheduled to fly to Phoenix when the tire blew and sparked a fire. It is just the latest in a series of such incidents.


On Wednesday, an American Airlines plane blew a tire and caught fire during takeoff in Florida, the latest in a series of such incidents.

The flight, which was departing from Tampa for Phoenix, was delayed after experiencing a “mechanical issue” on the runway shortly before takeoff, airline spokesman Alfredo Garduño told USA TODAY on Wednesday. The problem involved tires on the Boeing 737-800, according to Garduño.

Emergency crews arrived at the scene shortly before 8 a.m. after receiving news that a tire had burst and caught fire, Tampa International Airport spokesman Joshua Gillin told the Tampa Bay Times.

Everyone on board, including 174 passengers and six crew members, were able to “safely disembark the aircraft and were bused to the terminal,” Garduño said. The incident had no impact on further flight operations, the Times reported.

All passengers were rebooked on other flights to Phoenix.

“We do not want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans in any way and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” said Garduño.

Another airline recently lost a tire

American Airlines is not the only airline to report a tire failure. United Airlines also reported a tire failure during takeoff early Monday morning.

A United Airlines plane traveling from Los Angeles to Denver lost a wheel during takeoff just after 7:15 a.m. but was able to land safely at its destination around 10 a.m., USA TODAY reported. No injuries were reported in connection with the incident among the 174 passengers and crew on board, Bloomberg reported.

“The wheel was found in Los Angeles and we are currently investigating what caused this incident,” United Airlines said. Further details about the tire were not immediately available.

The lost tire is just one of many incidents disclosed by United Airlines over the past year that prompted a federal safety review of the airline. United Airlines remains under “enhanced oversight” by the Federal Aviation Administration, which has been tasked with closely examining the airline's operations, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told USA TODAY on Monday.

David Evans, an FAA-certified transport pilot and flight instructor, told USA TODAY that losing an airplane tire is “rare,” adding, “It does happen from time to time, but at the end of the day, it's usually nothing major.”

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