The nose wheel of a Boeing 757 passenger jet operated by Delta Air Lines popped off and rolled away as the plane was lining up for takeoff over the weekend from Atlanta’s international airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The nose gear mishap on Saturday came amid heightened scrutiny of the aircraft manufacturer by federal regulators following the mid-air blowout of a fuselage panel that left a gaping hold in an eight-week-old Boeing 737 MAX 9 jet flown by Alaska Airlines.
Nobody was seriously injured in the blowout, but the FAA grounded 171 MAX 9s after the 5 January incident.
The agency has since recommended that airlines operating Boeing 737-900ER jets inspect door plugs on those jets to ensure they are properly secured after some carriers reported loose hardware during inspections of grounded MAX 9 planes.
According to a preliminary FAA notice filed on Monday documenting the 757 nose gear detachment, none of the 184 passengers or six crew members aboard was hurt in the incident, which took place at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The report said the aircraft was lining up and waiting for takeoff when the “nose wheel came off and rolled down the hill.”
The plane had been scheduled for a flight to Bogota, Colombia, when the incidednt occurred, and a Delta spokesperson said the passengers were put on a replacement flight, according to the New York Times, which broke the story late yesterday.
The newspaper said Boeing declined comment and directed questions to the airline. The FAA told the newspaper it was continuing its investigation of the incident.