Oops: Delta Boeing 757 Loses Nose Wheel Before Takeoff

Oops: Delta Boeing 757 Loses Nose Wheel Before Takeoff

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Airplanes are incredibly complex machines with a countless number of parts, and sometimes things go wrong. However, this is an odd one…

Delta Boeing 757 loses wheel before takeoff in Atlanta

This incident happened on Saturday, January 20, 2024, and involves Delta flight DL982, which was scheduled to fly from Atlanta (ATL) to Bogota (BOG). The flight was operated by a 31-year-old Boeing 757-200 with the registration code N672DL.

The aircraft had been cleared to taxi into position on runway 27R, as it awaited takeoff clearance. However, while taxiing onto the runway, one of the wheels of the nose gear separated from the aircraft, and rolled into a nearby embankment.

VASAviation has an excellent recreation of the incident, featuring both a depiction of what happened, plus the air traffic control audio.

As you can hear, another Delta pilot reports that “the 75 on the runway just lost the nose tire,” to which the Delta pilot on this aircraft responds “thanks for that, sounds like we got a problem.”

Following this incident, the pilots of the Delta jet contacted maintenance, and they had to come out to the runway to tow the aircraft. The runway ended up remaining closed for a few hours, as this whole process took quite some time.

You’ve also gotta love how a moment after this incident, the pilot of one of the Southwest jets in the takeoff queue gets impatient, and asks about being rerouted to another runway. Of course I can appreciate his desire to maintain an on-time schedule, but you can at least give them a couple of minutes.

Kudos to the air traffic controller for how he responds, firmly yet respectfully — “we’re in the process, there’s a lot of moving parts behind the scenes, give me a second.”

Delta ended up getting another aircraft for those traveling from Atlanta to Bogota. It’s interesting to see how quickly the aircraft involved in this incident reentered service. The following morning, the jet flew from Atlanta to San Juan and back, so I guess they got the wheel situation repaired quickly. However, the plane hasn’t flown in the past 36 hours, so I’m curious if that’s just because Delta doesn’t need it, or if some other issue was discovered.

What could cause this wheel incident?

I think what’s most interesting about this incident is when the wheel disconnected from the aircraft. In the past we’ve sometimes seen wheel issues during a problematic landing or at a high speed, but it’s certainly unusual to see a wheel just disconnect from an aircraft while it’s taxiing onto a runway at a low speed.

Was the wheel somehow just how secured correctly, did the plane have some incident on a previous flight that caused this, or what? Oh, wait, no… I think I’m just supposed to assume that DEI must be to blame, right? Am I doing that right?

I would joke that I’m not surprised there are issues like this given Delta’s average fleet age, as there are often more maintenance incidents with older aircraft. However, given how Boeing is doing with its newer aircraft, I’m not sure that can really be said anymore. Better to lose a nose wheel on the ground than part of the fuselage in the air, eh?

Bottom line

A Delta Boeing 757 lost a nose wheel while it was taxiing onto the runway at Atlanta Airport. Thank goodness that this was discovered before the plane took off, since it’s always easier to deal with an issue when you’re on the ground and traveling at a low speed.

Delta fixed this aircraft within hours, and it’s already back in service.

What do you make of this Delta Boeing 757 incident?

Conversations (36)
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  1. SGT Todd Wiseman Guest

    The who cares story of the new year, none of us FLY, never have the $$$ to waste to be around all the violent booze a holic passengers, way SMARTER to drive a GAS powered car and use a paper map to navigate for FUN, remember when the world was fun like back in 2000 before the NYC twin towers were fire bombed by Yankee cia, past 24 years, no fun

  2. Jackson Guest

    The wheels wont stay on but at least there is diversity!

    1. Slfdkf Guest

      Who asked for your opinion?

  3. FlyerDon Guest

    It could have been any number of things but the first employees I would talk to would be the pushback crew.

  4. Bobtut Guest

    The DEI comment was totally unnecessary and has nothing to do with this situation, so hold your political satirical comments.

    1. James Guest

      Of course DEI has nothing to do with this, that’s the point Ben is making. But plenty of people are already saying - without any evidence- DEI is to blame.

    2. panda Gold

      Calling out people who use DEI as a racist dogwhistle is very necessary.

  5. Brandon Guest

    "If it's a Boeing, I'm not going."

  6. Mark Christopher Guest

    Don't understand why it took hours to close the runway?? Take that long to push/pull aircraft a couple of hundred feet??

  7. Sigmund New Member

    You picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel...

    1. Kelley P Diamond

      This wins the comments section. Everyone else can just leave....

  8. Stymy Guest

    Although not recommended, Planes can operate safely with one wheel missing. Obviously, unless wheel axel broke off, someone probably forgot to properly torque and or safety the wheel nut. Not the first time this ever happened. Not Boeings fault like media likes to imply

  9. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    This is wear & tear and obviously not a production issue. It's a 31 year old plane that has safely transported hundreds of thousands (if not more) passengers over the last 3+ decades. But also, DELTA is cheap, nor premium, and sucks. #DELTAGEDDON #TimDunnIsAFalseProphet

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I'm sure we can all come up w/ a definition for "premium" but Delta generated $4 billion more in revenue for 2023 and $2 billion more in profits than United, the only two airlines that have reported and the two most likely to be similar financially.
      You are probably right about wear and tear. The 757 is still one of Boeing's greatest creations and it will be a sad day when Delta operates the...

      I'm sure we can all come up w/ a definition for "premium" but Delta generated $4 billion more in revenue for 2023 and $2 billion more in profits than United, the only two airlines that have reported and the two most likely to be similar financially.
      You are probably right about wear and tear. The 757 is still one of Boeing's greatest creations and it will be a sad day when Delta operates the last flight.
      The good news is that day will probably be well into the 2030s.

  10. Racer47891 Guest

    I was aircarft#671 last year and we lost a nose tire on landing

  11. Fordamist LeDearn Guest

    help me on this ... nose has how many tires, two? One was left supporting the front of the plane? How are they secured to the gear, lug nuts, cotter pins? Any guess as to why it would just fall off? Metal break on the gear somewhere/

  12. BeeZee Member

    Lol, why is this Tim Dunn dude all over the comments -every single time- Delta is mentioned? Imagine simping that hard for an airline

    1. Xavier Guest

      I mean there is the guy on here who does that for Hilton, even though most people do not die that hard on the sword for a loyalty program that is just fine.

  13. CHRIS Guest

    This doesn't feel very premium to me.

  14. Don Guest

    That's why we have the aviation mechanics business. stuff happens

  15. Tim Done Guest

    It's all over the news Timothy. Everyone is gonna think Delta is a POS.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      No. They think it is all Boeing’s fault.

      And United still has the oldest US carrier fleet.

      Keeping those 757s will be an asset now that United says it is planning to not have the MAX 10

    2. MaxPower Diamond

      Lol. Delta passes United for oldest fleet award for a year and tim won’t shut up about it. Isn’t delta’s narrowbody fleet still older than United’s narrowbody? Haven’t looked to check recently so I won’t be dogmatic but the a330neo and a350 probably were a big help to BARELY pass United
      But let’s not kid ourselves. The article is about an ancient delta 757.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      except Delta's fleet is not only younger than United's but it is actually in the air.
      And the widebody fleet doesn't move the needle in fleet age.
      The reason is the narrowbodies.
      UAL's average A320 fleet age is 25 years. UAL's average 757 fleet is 24.7 years old.

      but let's be clear here. United burned cash in 2023 because of its massive fleet replacement while Delta generated free cash. UAL is the...

      except Delta's fleet is not only younger than United's but it is actually in the air.
      And the widebody fleet doesn't move the needle in fleet age.
      The reason is the narrowbodies.
      UAL's average A320 fleet age is 25 years. UAL's average 757 fleet is 24.7 years old.

      but let's be clear here. United burned cash in 2023 because of its massive fleet replacement while Delta generated free cash. UAL is the carrier that has an older fleet and will take on debt to replace it while Delta will replace aircraft at a pace that will allow its fleet age to decrease but also to not have to go in debt during its fleet replacement.

      You really should focus on what UA execs actually said in their earnings call and federal disclosures and not your personal bias.

    4. MaxPower Diamond

      Thanks for ignoring my comment and trying to redirect. I guess delta’s narrowbodies are still older than United’s narrowbodies. It’s very very easy to look up, especially in 10k season.

      You are so amusingly predictable, tim

      I’m sure when united inevitably passes delta in young fleet age with their current order book (your rage fighting the obvious on this is amusing enough ) you’ll be telling us how smart delta is to have old planes...

      Thanks for ignoring my comment and trying to redirect. I guess delta’s narrowbodies are still older than United’s narrowbodies. It’s very very easy to look up, especially in 10k season.

      You are so amusingly predictable, tim

      I’m sure when united inevitably passes delta in young fleet age with their current order book (your rage fighting the obvious on this is amusing enough ) you’ll be telling us how smart delta is to have old planes again instead of your new spiel singing the praises of fuel efficiency absent knowledge of ownership cost.

      And in the air….? You must’ve missed the 900er news, timmy

    5. DesertGhost Guest

      Things like this aren't supposed to happen to PERFECT airlines.

  16. Davisson Guest

    Landing gears and wheels take a lot of beating. Considering this is a 31 yr old plane, I don’t think there are strong correlation between it and the recent loose bolts. I’m beating this is a one off event due to wear and tear.

    1. Don Guest

      Maybe the accountants and lawyers told maintenance to hurry up and put it back in service.

  17. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Once again, Delta’s average fleet age is over 2 years younger than United
    Loose bolts happen on 2 month old aircraft too

  18. Capo Guest

    Did they hire the same mechanics that bolted the panel on the 737 to tighten the bolts of this 757 wheel? Ouch!

  19. kylehotchkiss New Member

    Semi-related - Delta is the only airline where I regularly see 30+ year old ages for planes. I get that airframes can keep going for a long time but it seems strange that Spirit and Frontiers fleets are much younger than the "full service" delta option.

    1. period Guest

      @kylehotchkiss -- When I was working for harris corp (who works closely with the FAA) I got to see a few of the boxes the FAA uses and those are 30+ years old too lol.

  20. Matt Guest

    ATC was right to be firm with the WN pilot, did he really need to take time so early in the diagnosis process to ask that? Shoot, let ATC do their jobs and do it safely.

  21. AJR Guest

    HA....a DEI dig. Love how you incorporated that.

  22. aa Guest

    Most of the VASaviation content is just taken from other YouTube channels.
    This was on You can see ATC yesterday:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYIC-Vq13xE

  23. Overdrive_Type New Member

    Must be a result of the DEI in Atlanta. Wouldn't have happened 15 years ago.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

BeeZee Member

Lol, why is this Tim Dunn dude all over the comments -every single time- Delta is mentioned? Imagine simping that hard for an airline

4
Sigmund New Member

You picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel...

2
Tim Done Guest

It's all over the news Timothy. Everyone is gonna think Delta is a POS.

2
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