Aviation blog Flight Global posted a video of a Boeing 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter, known as the Dreamlifter, experiencing a landing-gear malfunction that resulted in the loss of a wheel.
The Dreamlifter took off from Taranto-Grottaglie Airport in Italy on Tuesday when trailing black smoke poured from the plane’s main landing gear. This happened in a split second as one of the wheels fell off and plunged to the ground.
The world’s longest cargo aircraft is operated by Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. Flightradar24 data showed the cargo plane continued with its planned flight path and landed safely eleven hours later at a Boeing production facility in Charleston, South Carolina.
After the wheel hit the runway, it bounced to a nearby vineyard. It was found shortly after the incident.
In a statement to the British online newspaper The Independent, a Boeing spokesperson confirmed the plane landed safely after encountering a landing gear issue:
“A Dreamlifter cargo flight operated by Atlas Air landed safely earlier today at Charleston International Airport, after losing a wheel assembly from its landing gear on takeoff from the Taranto-Grottaglie Airport in Italy this morning.
“We will support our operator’s investigation.”
The cause of the incident isn’t yet clear.