FAA investigating wheel that fell off plane, landed in yard

Paul Davidson


Federal authorities are still investigating an incident last week in which a small plane’s wheel fell off mid-air and landed in a Chicago family’s yard.

The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 landed safely at Chicago O’Hare International Airport at about 6:40 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration told USA TODAY.  

The Boutique Airlines aircraft, with seven people aboard, was flying from Ironwood, Michigan, to O’Hare, the FAA said.

Shonah Grant told the Chicago Tribune that she and her husband had just returned from a stroll through their Jefferson Park neighborhood when they noticed something in their yard that looked like a tire rim. As the moved closer, they saw more debris.

“Then, there was a tire by our front porch!” Grant told the Tribune. She later realized it was an airplane tire and a friend who is a retired airplane mechanic confirmed her suspicion. She learned the wheel likely hit a neighbor’s yard before going into hers.

Meanwhile, a plane landing at the airport was creating sparks on the left side of the aircraft but it came to a complete stop and no injuries were reported, according to a statement emailed to the Tribune from the Chicago Department of Aviation. It was later found that the plane’s left landing gear assembly was missing, the CDA told the paper.

The CDA did not immediately respond to an inquiry from USA TODAY.

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