Wheel falls off an aircraft landing at Manchester Airport

On 24 December 2019 a TUI 737 (G-TAWG) aircraft took off from Al Massira Airport in Morocco and landed at Manchester Airport at around 12.30am.

On board the aircraft was 181 passengers and 6 crew all unaware of what had happened on landing at Manchester, for the flight crew flying the aircraft it was somewhat different as shortly after landing they saw something go past them at speed.

On landing the commander decided to stop the aircraft at a safe place and let the fire fighters check what had happened, it was then they confirmed that the right outboard wheel (number 4) and the tyre had completely detached with significant damage to the brake pack.

All passengers were told to vacate the aircraft and was picked up by buses and transported to the correct terminal.

The aircraft was then towed to the parking area where engineers fully examined the damage.

An inspection was also made on the runway and found the wheel and all its bearings detached 1,800m from the threshold, the aircraft continued for another 700m before it stopped on grass to the right of runway 23R.

After the AAIB investigating the aircraft it was found that all but one of the brake rotor drive keys had detached and the inner face of the hub was
heavily scored over its entire surface. The outboard bearing cup was in place, but the
inboard bearing cup had detached

Only 20% of the outboard and 50% of the inboard bearings were recognisable on the wheel.

They checked the service manual to see if there had been any other issues with the wheels, it was found that the torque wrench used by an engineer was under reading by as much as 11%

Although investigators have not concluded what went wrong that night it does suggest that the bearings had a big part to play in the detachment and the tools and grease used by engineers looking after the aircraft

No one was injured after landing.

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