Plane lands at Heathrow with square wheel

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Photo credit: The Aviation Herald

It takes something special to leave aviation experts dumbfounded, they’ve pretty much seen it all when it comes to air travel. However, when an Airbus A380-800 landed at London Heathrow following a long haul flight from Hong Kong something stumped the experts.

When the British Airways plane touched down at Heathrow, ground staff noticed something a little unusual. The aircraft had a square-shaped wheel. It has sparked debate about how this incident occurred.

The Aviation Herald, which first reported the incident, stated that flight crew received a tyre pressure indication as the plane climbed out of Hong Kong. Rather than returning to the airport, staff decided to press on with the 13-hour flight. They requested a tow tug be made available for landing in case it was not able to taxi to the terminal.

When inspecting the aircraft it was found that the tyre had deflated into a square shape instead of the usual flat bottom. It left many within the aviation community scratching their heads but members of the Aviation Herald website suggested that it may have been caused by slow puncture taking place at high altitude and thus subject to a variety of temperatures.

While the Civil Aviation Authority described the incident as “curious”, Kumar Mysore, aviation safety expert at the Royal Aeronautical Society, told MailOnline Travel: “’It is a bit mysterious, an interesting phenomenon.

“The deflated tyre would have been round when the aircraft touched down, it would not have rotated on four square edges as the picture would have us believe. The round wheel would have rotated on the flat ground, with the deflated tyre wobbling around the wheel.

“The tyre has taken this shape after the aircraft came to a halt. The aircraft weight is on the wheel – made from a well-designed light but strong aluminium alloy. You can see that the wheel is not damaged at all, as it is designed to take this weight.

“The effect of the weight on the deflated tyre is the same as when you squeeze a rubber ring toy with different intensity, it can turn into a different shape.”