China Airlines Boeing 747 Suffers Burst Tire Departing Taipei

On August 29th, a China Airlines Boeing 747-400 freighter suffered a burst tire when taking off from Taipei on a flight to Los Angeles. Once in the air, the aircraft was informed that tire debris was found on their departure runway. It was requested to return to Taipei for a low-approach visual inspection. It was then confirmed that the jumbo jet had indeed experienced a burst tire.

China Airlines 747F
According to Airfleets, China Airlines has 18 active 747-400 freighters in its fleet. Photo: Bill Abbott via Flickr 

Incident details

Departing at 10:41 local time, China Airlines cargo flight CI5198 departed from Taipei (TPE) runway 05R bound for Los Angeles. According to The Aviation Herald, during its climb out of Taipei, the crew was informed that tire debris was discovered on their departure runway.

As a result of this new information, the crew stopped their climb at FL290 and, after performing a fuel dump, returned to Taipei for a low approach to runway 05R for a visual inspection from the ground. Upon confirmation of a blown tire, the aircraft circled around for another approach, landing safely two hours and 15 minutes after initial departure. 

Flight path of CI5198.
The flight path of CI5198. The circles over the water show the aircraft’s fuel dump and return to Taipei. Photo:

The incident aircraft was a 747-400 freighter registered as B-18725. Information obtained via Airfleets shows that this is a 13-year-old aircraft that has flown with China Airlines since Boeing first produced it in 2007.

Replacement aircraft secured

Another Boeing 747-400 freighter with registration B-18717 was sourced to replace the affected jumbo. With cargo needing to be transferred over, the replacement aircraft departed about seven hours after the landing of B-18725.

As for the occurrence aircraft, The Aviation Herald reports that it was on the ground in Taipei even after 13 hours since landing back. At the time of writing, the jet still remains on the ground more than 24 hours after the incident.

china airlines departing Anchorag
China Airlines’ cargo jets fly all over the world but mainly within the East and Southeast Asian region as well as to the United States. Photo: BriYYZ via Flickr 

China Airlines’ cargo operations

Like many long-haul freighters, China Airlines’ cargo jets fly all over the world, moving precious goods from one place to another. If we take the occurrence aircraft as an example, we can see that it had also flown all over the region, to Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong in the days leading up to the incident.

Before this, B-18725 had flown from its home in Taipei to Anchorage, Alaska. On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the jumbo jet flew Anchorage to Atlanta, Atlanta to Dallas, and Dallas back to Anchorage before return to Taipei.

The replacement aircraft, B-18717, has also covered a great deal of distance in the past week. Since August 23rd, it has flown to the following cities around the world:

  • Hanoi
  • Dubai
  • Luxembourg
  • Osaka
  • Anchorage
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles

Covering the journey that was supposed to be performed by B-18725, the jet flew from Los Angeles to San Francisco, which is where it is currently located at the time of writing.

Have you ever spotted a 747 freighter during your travels? Let us know in the comments.