United Airlines Flight Veers Off Runway

A United Airlines flight veered off the runway at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on Friday morning, leading to an evacuation of passengers. The incident involved a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft that had just arrived from Memphis. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the plane rolled onto the grass while exiting onto the taxiway around 8 a.m. The passengers were then escorted off the plane and transported to the terminal by bus.

There were no reported injuries among the 160 passengers and six crew members who exited the plane using stairs. The incident did not disrupt airport operations, officials confirmed. Footage from the scene showed the aircraft tilted to one side, with its left wing touching the ground off the runway. Passengers were seen boarding a bus on the tarmac.

United Airlines explained that the aircraft left the pavement and entered the grass along Runway 9-27 as it was exiting the runway for the gate. One passenger described the landing as smooth but noted feeling bumps during the taxi, comparing it to the sensation of driving a car with a flat tire.

The Houston Fire Department and Houston Airport Operations responded to the incident and ensured the safe evacuation of all passengers. This incident marks the third involving a United plane this week. On Thursday, a Japan-bound flight was diverted to Los Angeles International Airport after the plane lost a tire during takeoff in San Francisco, causing damage to several cars in the parking lot of San Francisco International Airport.

Boeing has been grappling with safety concerns recently, starting from January 5 when a door panel blew off a Boeing 737 MAX 9 jet during a flight from Oregon to California. The National Transportation Safety Board found that the plane, operated by Alaska Airlines, was missing four key bolts. United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby threatened to stop using Boeing after the carrier’s fleet of MAX 9 aircraft was grounded following the near-disastrous Alaska Airlines door blowout.

The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating an incident involving a United Boeing 737 MAX 8 whose rudder pedals got stuck as the plane touched down at Newark Liberty International Airport on Feb. 6. No “obvious malfunctions” were discovered on the rudder system during an initial examination, but tests simulating low temperatures at high altitudes showed a failure could result, according to the agency.