FAA Investigating Tire Blowout of Plane at Hector International

Sean Dobberstein, Executive Director of Hector International Airport, says why the tires burst and what went wrong with the hydraulics is still under investigation.

A scare for passengers at Hector International after their plane had to abort its takeoff.

Hector International Airport Authorities and the FAA are investigating.

At 6:30 this morning, a United Express plane was racing down the runway when officials say something went wrong with the hydraulics and the two tires blew out.

Sean Dobberstein, Executive Director of Hector International Airport, says why the tires burst and what went wrong with the hydraulics is still under investigation.

“It’s really unknown why or how these things happen but it certainly made a mess on the runway,” said Dobberstein.

Shana Drum, a passenger on the flight says “it felt like two flat tires, you could feel it shift, almost as if you lost control on ice”.

“By the time we were notified about foreign object debris check, or FOD check, we were out on the runway to sweep all of the rubber and other things that were out on the airfield,” said Dobberstein. “We were probably closed for about 20 minutes which delayed some flights from taking off.”

Runway Debris Can be a Danger for Any Plane

If there is any kind of FOD, it can cause a hazard for planes…sometimes with devastating results.

On July 25th, 2000, Air France Flight 4590 crashed, killing all 109 passengers and crew as well as four people on the ground four minutes after takeoff.

Investigators say the tires burst after running over a small piece of metal debris on the runway and punctured a fuel tank.

“You just never know when things like this are going to happen. But fortunately, today everything turned out fine,” said Dobberstein.

Unfortunately, the burst tires caused additional damage to the plane which will leave it out of service.

“As pieces of that tire debris were coming off the aircraft it shattered some of the fiberglass on the flaps that are directly above it,” said Dobberstein. “Where the tires were…once they retracted to the aircraft, there’s a door that closes over those tires so those portions of the aircraft were damaged.”

Dobberstein says while the passengers may have faced an inconvenience, they were immediately taken care of.

“Kind of used to delays. Some of them had been on aircraft with similar situations over the years but they seem to be pretty understanding,”┬áhe said.

There were no injuries reported.

The aircraft is being inspected and mechanics are working on getting it back to the skies.

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