On April 7th, a FedEx (Federal Express) McDonnell Douglas MD-11 lost a nose-wheel during takeoff.

The accident occurred when the aircraft, with registration N619FE, was performing flight FX464 from Santo Antonio, Texas to Memphis, Tennessee (USA).

After take-off from Santo Antonio’s runway 22, the aircraft apparently lost the right nose wheel. The aircraft climbed to FL370 and continued on to Memphis landing safely on runway 18C after 1 hour 30 minutes of flight.

a map of a plane
FedEx MD-11 FlightPath (By FlightRadar24 )

The FAA considers this event an accident and states that the aircraft suffered substantial damages, but does not specify if this extends beyond the nose-wheel assembly. None of the 3 crew members were injured. Unfortunately there is no picture available from this incident so far.

The aircraft in question was delivered to FedEx in November 1996 and is powered by three General Electric CF6 engines.

It is not the first time that an MD-11 has lost a nose wheel.

In April 2009, a World Airways MD-11 lost a wheel on approach to Santiago de Chile, falling into a cornfield approximately 70 meters from a house. The crew only noticed the loss of the wheel after the safe landing.

More recently, in November 2016 a Lufthansa Cargo also lost a wheel in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the landing roll the left nose wheel completely detached, due to lack of a safety lock on the spacer and a lack of supervision and quality control at a Dakar stopover.