Delta Flight Lost a Wheel and Brake Parts on Takeoff From Tel Aviv, Landed Safely

A Delta flight apparently lost a back wheel and part of the braking system on takeoff at Tel Aviv last week. The flight in question is apparently Delta 469 on October 3 from Tel Aviv to New York JFK.

That flight arrived safely:

What’s worse,

the debris “plunged down onto the runway” and was left there for some five hours, during which 10 further flights took off from the same runway, because a warning system highlighting the danger was dismissed as a false alarm.

The control tower received a warning about the debris and attributed it to a system malfunction, only discovering the parts on the runway visually come daylight.

Delta Boeing 777

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, 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 »

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  1. That’s not good. Isn’t debris on the runway what caused the only concorde disaster? Glad everything went smoothly.

  2. >> That’s not good. Isn’t debris on the runway what caused the only concorde disaster?

    That was the official finding of the investigation, yes. I recently found out that there’s an alternate explanation – basically, yes the debris on the runway was a contributing factor, but it wouldn’t have been enough without a BUNCH of other errors, which were not publicized at the time. According to this explanation, Air France had wanted to stop flying the Concorde for some time, and the accident provided cover for that.

    My source for this was a long-form interview with a senior British Airways Concorde pilot on the Omega Tau podcast:

    – Omega Tau is _awesome_ for long-form interviews with people who really know what they’re talking about. Highly, highly recommended.
    – The pilot being interviewed was absolutely in love with Concorde, which may have influenced his testimony… but still a GREAT interview. Take his theory with a grain of salt, but it’s interesting to know that there _is_ another theory out there.

  3. Didn’t see Jim L’s comment until after I posted… thought I’d follow up to add that the source cited over at Ask the Pilot is John Hutchinson, the same pilot interviewed on Omega Tau. So once you read the executive summary over at ATP, you can hear the more-detailed story from the man himself.

  4. I thought Tel Aviv is always touted as one of, if not the safest place to depart from in the world. Well they may be good at spotting arab terrorists but it seems they aren’t so good at spotting the odd wheel and brake parts strewn all over the runway. Quite scary that they just ignored the safety alert.

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