A Boeing Large Cargo Freighter (Dreamlifter) carrying part of a Boeing 787 fuselage lost a wheel shortly after taking off from Taranto-Grottaglie Airport in Italy on Tuesday. The aircraft was on its way to Charleston, South Carolina, where Boeing has a Dreamliner assembly plant. The center section of the fuselage is built by Alenia in Italy and is moved to Charleston using the outsized modified Boeing 747. The aircraft continued to Charleston and landed safely on its remaining 17 wheels.
The bulky plane had just lifted off when smoke started to stream from the rear outboard wheel on the left main gear. The tire appeared to explode in a puff of black smoke and the still-smoking wheel assembly bounced off the infield before careening into a vineyard adjacent to the airport. There were no reported injuries. The plane was operated by cargo carrier Atlas Air.