Wheel Falls Off Dash-8


Passengers aboard an Air Canada Jazz flight from Montreal on Friday watched as one of the wheels fell off as it lifted off from Trudeau International Airport. At least one passenger caught the unusual event on his cellphone and it made for a good story on social media. Our friends at Flyer Magazine in the U.K. put together the video above. The brief video shows fire in the hub of the inboard left main gear of the Dash-8-300 and as the aircraft leaves the runway the tire and wheel assembly falls away to the runway a few dozen feet below. The flight was far from over, however.

Instead of taking the hour-long flight to Saguenay, about 230 miles northeast of Montreal, the 49 passengers and three crew spent a couple of hours in a hold burning off fuel to lighten the plane for the unorthodox forthcoming landing. The arrival back in Montreal was uneventful and Jazz, Air Canada’s largest regional contractor, praised the crew but didn’t say why the wheel fell off. “Our experienced pilots kept complete control of the aircraft. Our pilots are trained to react to such situations and reacted conforming to proper procedure,” Jazz Aviation spokesperson Manon Stuart told the CBC.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


    • Bearings siezed causing heat damaged to wheel which promply cracked, then fell off, sounds and looks favourite. Pure speculation of course! I don’t buy into the “You can’t speculate” nonsense. It’s OK as long as you say it is speculation!!

  1. I saw another version (a different angle video) that showed the wheel assembly making sparks for a good long while.

    • Quite. However, it is more conservative to not retract a known damaged/faulty landing gear. A visual inspection may have been sufficient to determine it safe to retract, but there is less potential for more to go wrong by leaving it down and returning.

  2. With that much friction to cause a fire, followed with the wheel failing, and falling off, the pilots must have known something was not right because they did not retract the gear. Even with cell phone video, there would be no way excited passengers would be able to notify the cabin crew and then the cabin crew notifying the pilots that a wheel fell off before determining positive rate of climb and beginning the clean up of the air-frame. I bet they had direction control issues which obviously they corrected for, and already knew something was not right. I have no idea if this airplane has ABS. However, if it does, there was some sort of cockpit warning in addition to the tug on that side of the airplane that something was amiss. They did the right thing to fly stiff legged and burn off fuel around the airport. I betcha that spinning tire really went a distance before it stopped.