Air Canada plane loses wheel en route from Montreal to London
Passenger reports hearing ‘clunky’ noise; Air Canada says safe operation of flight never in jeopardy
Simran Johal distinctly remembers hearing “a clunky noise” while aboard Air Canada Flight 864, as she headed back to London via Montreal on Sunday night after a holiday with her sister in Cancun, Mexico.
The Airbus A330, carrying 294 passengers, lost one of its eight wheels as it was taking off from Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport, Air Canada confirmed to CBC.
Johal said the flight was plagued by turbulence when she and her sister heard the noise. “Why is it shaking so much?” she said her sister kept asking. “I kept reassuring her.”
The airline didn’t alert passengers to anything being wrong, Johal said, adding that she only found out about the missing wheel when she saw her flight mentioned on the local news during her taxi ride home.
“Thank God it wasn’t a worse situation,” said Johal. “At the same time, it’s a poor effort for Air Canada that this wasn’t checked properly.”
In an emailed statement, Air Canada spokesperson Isabelle Arthur told CBC that preliminary information shows the wheel separated from the plane while it was taxiing down the runway, preparing to take off.
It was unclear whether the pilot knew about the missing wheel prior to takeoff.