American Airlines Plane Bursts Tires, Catches Fire As Pilots Cancel Takeoff At High Speed

American Airlines flight 590 from Tampa to Phoenix was preparing to take off this morning when tires on the right main gear burst. The pilots rejected takeoff at a speed of around 150 knots and vacated the runway at the last turnoff. A fire ensued and after several minutes fire crew responded. The flight was cancelled.

According to American Airlines,

American Airlines flight 590 with service from Tampa (TPA) to Phoenix (PHX) experienced a mechanical issue on the runway prior to taking off. Customers safely deplaned and were bussed to the terminal. We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Just a couple of days ago a United Airlines flight lost a wheel on takeoff from Los Angeles.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Comments

  1. the pilots did a great job.
    The question is if the tires were excessively worn before the flight or if there were any other preventable issues which the Feds will figure out.

  2. Didn’t realize V1 was that high, but if it was below V1 really quick action from the pilots and the warning systems. All caught on video.

  3. Good job by the pilots. If the airplane had taken off, it would have caused a lot of other complications with quite a bit of fuel onboard. Setting down the aircraft on less than the full compliment of tires probably has some risk. I wonder if a tire fire would be more likely in that case. A further query, I wonder if it was a tire fire or a brake fire initially.

  4. I don’t want to criticize the decision making of other pilots, but for numerous reasons… rejecting the takeoff in this situation is the wrong decision.
    1. The burst tires reduce braking effectiveness.
    2. Your traveling at a high rate of speed with most of the runway already behind you.
    It’s best to takeoff, declare an emergency, and land with the speed decreasing in the touchdown zone with ARFF waiting by the runway.

    HOWEVER… when the s**t hits the fan and there’s a split second to make a decision, I don’t fault them one bit. Glad they got it stopped on the pavement.

  5. If this was a Delta plane, it would have burst all the tires to celebrate its new world-dominant Riyadh Air partnership.

  6. Seems like it took too long for fire dept to respond if video is in real time. Seemed to sit for long time before they showed up.

  7. If the person doing the talking in the video started his own YouTube channel of airplane videos with commentary I would make it my personal life mission to get rich enough to buy the entirety of Google and shut down YouTube completely just to save the world from ever having to listen to that guy, I feel like it’s the least I can do for humanity.

  8. JNS,

    If they had continued the takeoff they would have made sure all engine instruments were indicating nothing out of the ordinary, gotten a report from an airport auth vehicle via the tower as to anything found on the runway other than tire debris (no metal), then continued to their destination or possibly drop into DFW after consulting dispatch and tech ops and of course burning down to MLW. A high speed abort close to V1 for a blown tire without any other uninhibited cautions or warnings is generally frowned upon as your accelerate/stop distance guaranteed by your V1 speed with 1 or more blown tires is now invalid.

  9. The last two flights I made in AA, we were stuck on the tarmac for 3 1/2 hours BOTH ways. Is there a reason that these planes cannot be maintained and serviced BETWEEN flights? How much has been done to study how much the excessive heat we are experiencing impacts tires, engines, etc? Our safety needs to exceed their bottom line.

  10. What kind of Airplane and who made it? Considering the omission of this critical information we’ll have to assume it s a Boeing, and the fix is in.

  11. I’m not sure where Gary got the 150 knot V1 speed. I too think it’s high, even with a high temperature and at max take off weight. Density altitude would have been around 2000-2500 feet. Maybe some 737 pilots could give an estimate.

  12. Those of you who would like to heap the blame on Boeing, it is seriously doubtful that Boeing made the tires and pretty much assured that this aircraft has made a trip or two prior to this incident. Also in doubt is that the airlines order new tires from Boeing. Might just want to reserve judgement until all the facts are in.

  13. Even though I’m not a pilot, I think all takeoffs should be aborted if there is an known emergency especially if there is an engine fire. Because you may not be able to fly or land if you get off the ground.

  14. I think they are starting NOT to mention what kind or make of airplane it was. Maintenance or piloting is probably the cause if most incidents, etc

  15. Tony N

    After a certain speed V1 or 80 kts dependent on the failure it’s ABSOLUTELY safer to deal with it in the air. Even if your engine blows up right at rotation a transport category aircraft is capable to take off and clear any obstacles… all the engine power and flap settings are predicated on that very scenario.

  16. Even though I’m not a pilot, I think all takeoffs should be aborted if there is an known emergency especially if there is an engine fire. Because you may not be able to fly or land if you get off the ground.

    Tony N says:

    Flying Dutchman says you will land one way or another.

  17. @RCB I had similar thoughts about the commentator. Who the hell did he think he was talking to?

  18. @Tony N: You wrote, “Even though I’m not a pilot, I think all takeoffs should be aborted if there is an known emergency especially if there is an engine fire. Because you may not be able to fly or land if you get off the ground.”

    Many flight schools teach that an aircraft is “flying” when it gets off the ground and can move through the air using wings or a propeller. Thanks to gravity, when the plane in the sky stops flying, it will land or crash into the terrain successfully.

  19. Thank you, @Dan77W, for the explanation of the standard procedure in the case of tire failure near V1. One thing that probably helped in this case is that the runway is listed as 11,002 feet long. I wonder if the recorders were pulled and contained data.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *