Passenger jet makes emergency landing safely after tire blew out

SACRAMENTO - An American Airlines MD-82 passenger jet on it's way to Sacramento from Dallas landed safely Wednesday evening after a rear tire apparently blew out on takeoff.

Passengers aboard American Airlines Flight 2275 said they suspected something was wrong when the jet took off from Dallas Fort Worth Airport.

"When we took off we smelled a burning smell," said passenger Kiana Glanton, who is from New York and headed to her grandmother's 80th birthday in Sacramento.

The plane continued on to Sacramento, where the pilot told passengers there was a problem.

"That's when the pilots let us know that we had had a tire burnt off, that there were remnants of it on the tarmac back in Dallas," Glanton said. "I don't know why they kept going."

Passenger Stephan Zekarkov said the information from the pilot shortly before landing left passengers anxious.

"Parts of the tire came off, (we were) extremely worried and we hear we have to do an emergency landing," Zekarkkov said.

Shortly after 7 p.m., crash crews and paramedics began assembling along the runway to the east of Terminal A.

Aboard the plane, the flight crew began explaining procedures for an emergency landing to passengers, going over proper positioning, aircraft exits and other elements.

As the plane prepared to touch down, passengers got one final pointer from the crew.

"They started chanting, which was freaky. They started to chant, "Brace, brace brace, bend and brace," Glanton said.

The landing at 7:42 p.m. looked picture perfect, but Glanton said she could tell something was wrong.

"Once we landed, the plane jerked like maybe 20 times because the black right tire was the one that was out," Glanton said.

After the landing only one passenger appeared to panic.

"One person did grab his bag and just run," Zekarkov said.

Glanton said she did a little preparing for the worst herself, turning on her cell phone to call her family just before landing to tell them what was going on and to say she loved them.

"I told them where my life insurance policies were," Glanton said.

Passengers agreed that most people stayed calm, even though many were frightened.

"I was pretty calm. I just prayed and I knew I had God on my side and the spirit of fear that I had to deal with," Glanton said. "Some people were really scared, but I wasn't."

The plane was eventually towed to Terminal B where passengers were able to disembark.


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