United Airlines is in damage control mode as the carrier has been at the center of scrutiny this week with four separate aircraft mishaps including an engine fire, faulty tire, runway excursion and, most recently, a hydraulic issue.

The latest incident came Friday afternoon when a flight departing San Francisco was forced to make an emergency landing in Los Angeles after experiencing issues with the aircraft’s hydraulic system. According to airline officials, the aircraft, an Airbus A320, landed safely and passengers were deplaned.

The hydraulic issue followed three other occurrences earlier this week involving Boeing aircraft. Flight 2477, a Boeing 737 Max traveling from Memphis, Tennessee, veered off the side of a taxiway and got stuck after landing at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

In another bizarre instance, a United Boeing 777 flight departing San Francisco bound for Osaka, Japan, lost a tire on takeoff, which did not injure anyone, but wrecked two cars in an employee parking lot on Thursday.

Those emergencies followed Monday’s incident when a Boeing 737 Max flight en route to Florida was forced to return back to Houston after one of its engines caught fire. United said the compressor stall broke after bubble wrap on the field was sucked into the engine on takeoff.  

According to a Bloomberg report, United said it would investigate each incident to determine what happened and learn from them—noting that each event was unrelated to one another.   

Amelia Walsh
Amelia Walsh is a private pilot who enjoys flying her family’s Columbia 350. She is based in Colorado and loves all things outdoors including skiing, hiking, and camping.


  1. There also appeared to be a hydraulic failure on a United flight I was on Friday morning (UA 820). What makes this sound incredible is that it happened on the same day, on the reverse of that same route, Mexico City to San Francisco. The flight was diverted into Monterrey, and then continued on a different plane into Houston and finally San Francisco.

  2. groups of incidents occurring in close proximity to each other are statistically normal, even though they appear to be not.

  3. Based on the video images I would say the entire wheel assembly came off the 777 departing SFO. Seems like a more serious (maintenance) issue than merely “losing a tire.”

  4. Vid caption: “The plane was designed to land safely with missing or damaged tires.” Well, up to a point.

  5. While people continue to argue about whether there is a pilot’s shortage, there definitely is a shortage of qualified maintenance personnel. And it’s getting worse. Maybe instead of supporting Young Eagle flights to attract new pilots, the alphabet groups should sponsor “Young Wrench Turner” programs to get people interested in aircraft maintenance. Not as glamorous as sitting in the left seat, but a good career nonetheless.

  6. Blacolirio: “Not a Boeing problem, it’s a maintenance problem.” Well explained video.
    Go to: youtube.com/watch?v=KqmjmDyYfQQ

  7. Maintenance problems at major airlines are partially attributed to the post pandemic surge in air travel and the downsizing the airlines went through when aircraft were grounded.
    I know of one United maintenance supervisor that was called after being away from United doing other jobs for 20 years and at age 60 was offered an added bonus if he would return to United for 5 years.
    Now I do Not think airlines are skimping on Maintenace, but the pressure is on to keep the aircraft available.
    It also seems Americans of recent generations have mostly techie job aspirations and little interest in a career in aircraft Maintenace?
    My grandson wants to be a video game designer and has little interest in getting a driver’s license let alone ever getting Dirty for a living.