Aviation News

January 12, 2010

Investigators Probe United Airlines Landing Gear Collapse At Newark


United Flight 634 flightpath (Courtesy of FlightAware)

United Airlines Airbus A319 reg N816UA at Newark

(Photo by Bill Striffler)

Investigators are continuing their investigation into why the right main landing gear of a United Airlines Airbus A319 (reg N816UA) collapsed during an emergency landing at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) on Sunday morning. All 48 passengers and five crew aboard United Flight 634 from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) escaped uninjured.

While on approach to Newark, the crew discovered that the right main gear would not deploy properly. After circling for about 30 minutes while unsuccessfully attempting to resolve the problem, passengers were informed of the malfunction and instructed to prepare for a crash landing.

The left main gear was the first to touch down, followed by the nose wheel, before the laws of gravity forced the right engine into the surface of Runway 4L. Sparks and smoke ensued as the metal scraped along the tarmac, but the aircraft continued on a straight line and there was no fire as the plane came to a safe stop.

United Airlines Airbus A319 reg N816UA at Newark

(Photo by Bill Striffler)

Passengers were evacuated and transported to the terminal on buses. Traveler Paul Lasiuk of Chicago told the NY Times, “I’ve had a lot of worse landings at Newark before, it was unbelievably smooth.”

The airport was shut down completely for about 20 minutes following the incident, and Runway 4L/22R was closed for the remainder of the day as investigators inspected the aircraft before moving it. Delays of over an hour were reported, and some flights were diverted to nearby airports, including an American Airlines 737-800 which made a rare visit to JFK Airport.

The incident came exactly a week after the airport was shut down due to a security breach in Terminal C.

United Airlines Airbus A319 reg N816UA at Newark

(Photo by Senga Butts)

About the Author




A Look At The Laws: What Is Required When You’re Denied Boarding

Take a look at what the government does and doesn't require airlines to do when you're denied boarding for your flight.
by David J. Williams


Overbooking, Bumping, Removal, Regional Airlines, and Your Rights

After United appeared in the news for the "dragging" removal of a passenger, many are asking what bumping, overbooking and passenger rights are.
by Phil Derner Jr.



Misused Aviation Terms, Part 1: Airlines and Accidents

Many terms are thrown around, whether it be by avgeeks, the news media or general public, that have official definitions aside from what is socially thought.
by Phil Derner Jr.


CLOSED: Winter Storm Stella Takes Aim at Northeastern US and Eastern Canada

Winter Storm Stella is taking aim at the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada early this week. We'll have your latest updates on the storm and its impact on air travel here.
by NYCAviation Staff


United Unveils New ‘Polaris’ Business Class Product

United Airlines introduced Polaris, a new Business Class product to be featured on long-haul international flights which the carrier hopes will be a game changer.
by Gordon Gebert, Jr.