Previously, I said that I should start flying Japan Airlines, since they offer wireless Internet service on their Tokyo-New York flights. But stories like this are giving me second thoughts. The Japan Times reports:
The two nose gear wheels on a Japan Airlines Corp. jetliner broke off during landing Wednesday at Tokyo's Haneda airport, the airline said.I like the idea of having Internet service on my flights, but having wheels, ultimately, is more important.
...Both tires blew when they and their wheel rims separated from the gear. The left tire was found on the runway and the other on a taxiway. Large scars were found on the left tire, JAL officials said.
The remaining parts of the wheel assembly still attached to the gear were damaged.
Industry officials and analysts say it is extremely rare for a wheel to come off.
"A tire puncture is not unusual, but I have hardly ever heard of a case in which both (wheels) came off at the same time," aviation analyst Kazuki Sugiura said, noting the landing gear is designed to make it difficult for a tire to come off.
The transport ministry is taking the incident seriously, especially given the recent rash of JAL safety problems. In April, the ministry said it would subject the airline to special safety inspections through the end of the year.