British Airways plane lands with a square tyre
The deflated tyre with a square shape was part of the landing gear on the flight BA-32 arriving from Hong Kong on Friday. The Airbus A380-800 was climbing out of Hong Kong close to reaching the top of climb when the crew received a tyre pressure indication, Aviation Herald reported.
The crew decided to continue the 13-hour flight to London and requested a tow tug to be available for landing in case the aircraft would not be able to taxi on its own.
"The aircraft landed safely on Heathrow's runway 09L and taxied to the gate," the report said.
A British Airways spokeswoman said the plane landed "normally" with one of its 18 tyres deflated, adding: "The A380, in common with other large commercial aircraft, is designed to be perfectly safe when landing with a deflated tyre."
The crew was left puzzled when an inspection found that the right outboard body tyre had deflated on four corners, rather than just at the bottom, as is usual. A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said he had not seen anything like the tyre before.
Aviation experts, commenting on the photograph square- shaped tyre of the A380, said they are stunned by it. One serving airline captain said the tyre probably detached from the wheel on landing when the brakes were applied, but stressed that the aircraft was never in danger.
He added: "The tyres are pressurised to around seven times that of a car tyre. Once depressurised the tyre will have 'flatted' while the a/c was braking and once it did so it would then rotate through 90 degrees to another part of the tyre and then do it again - hence the four flats you see.
"Is it dangerous? No. To lose one is no big deal," the captain was quoted as saying by The Sun.
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner. It is the world's largest passenger airliner that provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in an all-economy class configuration.