United plane drops tire, smashing cars, as it departs SFO. Jet lands safely at LAX

A damaged car is seen in a parking lot
A damaged car is seen in an airport employee parking lot after tire debris from a Boeing 777 landed on it at San Francisco International Airport on Thursday.
(Haven Daley / Associated Press)

A United Airlines plane departing San Francisco International Airport on Thursday morning lost one of its tires shortly after takeoff but landed safely at Los Angeles International Airport.

The tire that fell damaged several vehicles in an employee parking lot at San Francisco International Airport, but no one on the ground was injured. In a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration said it would investigate the cause of the accident.

The incident happened at about 11:35 a.m. as United Flight 35 was en route to Osaka, Japan, according to Doug Yakel, a spokesperson for the SFO airport. He confirmed there were no injuries but said the runway was briefly closed off to clear fallen debris and had since reopened to regular operation.


According to LAX representative Dae Levine, the flight successfully landed in Los Angeles at 1:23 p.m. with “no issue.” “Operationally, this didn’t have an impact,” said Levine. “They were able to pull up to the gate.”

The plane that malfunctioned was a Boeing 777, which is designed to descend safely even with missing or damaged landing gear, United Airlines said in a statement. The plane carried 235 passengers, 10 flight attendants and four pilots — but no injuries were reported by the airline.

The Beverly Hills Unified School District board approved stipulated expulsions Wednesday evening for five 8th-grade students at Beverly Vista Middle School.

March 7, 2024

“We are arranging for a new aircraft to continue this trip for our customers,” United said.

U.S. regulators are currently investigating Boeing’s quality controls after a door plug on a 737 Max aircraft blew out midflight earlier this year.

There have yet been no groundings reported for other United planes in response to this event.