LONDON – A United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX suffered a tire failure at Fort Myers Airport yesterday, bringing all departures and arrival to a halt.
As Fort Myers only has a single runway, authorities have to move the aircraft off of the runway before operations can continue at the airport.
According to RadarBox.com, the aircraft in question was N27253, which is a fairly new aircraft, having been delivered to United Airlines in July 2021, putting the aircraft at 1.3 years old.
The data also shows that the aircraft was operating UA2274, which was a routine flight between Newark and Fort Myers.
N27253 was eventually cleared off the runway at 7 pm local time yesterday, allowing movements to restart in and out of the airport, following a lot of disruption.
According to AirLive.net, authorities failed to notify the general public who were traveling about the runway closure, which exacerbated the problem further.
No announcements were made in the terminal either. It is understood quite a few flights were diverted to other airports across the Florida area as well.
AviationSource has approached United Airlines for a comment on this incident and has said the following via email:
Our aircraft experienced two flat tires during landing. All passengers deplaned safely and were bused to the terminal.
- The aircraft could not be moved safely until the tires were changed.
- We explored multiple options for doing this. We reached out to other airlines to find the closest appropriate equipment for safely replacing the tires.
- The correct jack for lifting this type of aircraft is a specialized piece of equipment that is typically not kept at every airport. The runway closure meant it was not possible to fly the jack into RSW.
- Ultimately, the safest, quickest way to repair and move the aircraft was to drive a jack to RSW from Orlando. Our mechanics left Orlando as soon as this was determined. As soon as it arrived, United employees accomplished the repair quickly and safely and moved the aircraft.
- We’re continuing to investigate the root cause of the incident.
This is a developing story.