An Icelandair passenger jet was forced to return to Keflavík when ground crew discovered that one of its wheels had fallen off and landed on the tarmac during take-off.
When the Boeing aircraft in question took off from Orlando on Friday, several witnesses saw the wheel fall from the plane, including a teenaged girl, DV reports. Witnessing the take-off, Birta Óskarsdóttir reportedly turned to her father and said, “Dad, the tire fell off the plane.” Her father was initially incredulous but she insisted she was telling the truth, and asked if this was supposed to happen.
Birta was not the only witness, either – Gylfi Gylfason was also there, and took photos of the plane, minus one wheel, ascending.
But it was alert ground crew who, upon finding the tire, alerted airport officials who in turn ordered the plane to return to Keflavík. The plane landed without incident, and most of the passengers on their way to Orlando were able to arrive later that day.
Accidents and mishaps at Icelandair are very rare, with the bulk of the company’s accidents being non-fatal, and occurring when the company was still known as Flugfélag Islands. There has not been an accident causing fatalities since 1978.
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