A Mesa Airlines Boeing 737-400 cargo hauler was caught on tape as it landed at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with a blown tire. There were no injuries, and from the video, it looks as though the blown tire was one of two on the left side of the aircraft. There were no sparks visible, and the plane came to a clean stop straight ahead on the runway.
The flight had originated in Cincinnati, and according to a story on Minneapolis-based Bring Me The News site, the pilot was aware of the blown tire as soon as the takeoff had been made. The flight typically takes around two hours.
The controversy? Why didn’t the pilot keep the gear down and return to land at Cincinnati? Retracting the gear can, when a tire blows, cause that wheel to get stuck in the wheel well, and that’s a bad thing when it comes to keeping the airplane under control on landing and minimizing damage to the plane overall. It being around two hours between CIN and MSP, it’s unlikely the crew left the gear down for the trip.
Then again, this is one case when it’s hard to argue with the outcome, which given the circumstances, is about as good as it gets.