ST. LOUIS – A U.S. Airways jet blew a tire on take-off in Philadelphia Thursday evening, sending the nose of the aircraft crashing to the ground, and forced terrified passengers and crew to evacuate the plane.
A passenger shot cell phone video of passengers evacuating on the emergency slides of Flight 1702. You can also see people running from the plane and walking on the wing to get to stairs.
The flight was bound for Fort Lauderdale. All but one passenger will be on the new flight to Florida. That person requested medical assistance at the scene, but u-s airways says the person was not hurt and is in good condition.
One local aviation expert says the situation is dangerous, but rarely these scenarios are deadly.
Stephen Belt, the Chair of the Aviation Science Department at St. Louis University says it appears the pilot did everything correctly in this situation. He says scenarios like Thursday's in Philadelphia are very rare, but do happen due to mechanical malfunction.
Even if something happens with the landing gear during a landing, it's in a controlled environment, where air traffic control knows there's a problem. Belt explains that part of training to become a pilot is learning to deal with these situations, through simulation.
When it comes to blowing a tire on the runway, he says it's a lot like blowing a tire on the highway.
"It can it be catastrophic, sure that can cause a lot of problems but you expect that to be that kind of situation to be something you can control," said Belt.
He says in Thursday's case, there was little the pilot could do because most likely by the time the pilot knew there was problem, the nose of the plane was probably on the ground.