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Pilot who blew tire reacts to plane incident in Philadelphia

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 14 2014 04:34:40 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 14 2014 05:10:57 PM CDT

All runways have been reopened at Philadelphia International Airport after a frightful flight caused an emergency evacuation.

BERN TWP., Pa. -

All runways have been reopened at Philadelphia International Airport after a frightful flight caused an emergency evacuation.  

An investigation is underway after U.S. Airways flight 1702, headed to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., never completely made it off the ground.   

The pilot was forced to abort takeoff Thursday night after the plane's tire blew and its nose gear collapsed, said officials

Risa Silverman's daughter was on board the flight headed to a wedding.

"She said the plane took off and then it came down and then it went up again and came down again," said Silverman.

Panicked passengers evacuated the plane, and slid their way to solid ground.

An airport spokeswoman said two passengers asked for medical assistance, but no serious injuries were reported

Spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said the Airbus 320 was carrying 149 passengers and five crew members. All were rescheduled on departing flights Thursday night.

"They're very lucky," said David Howe, director of operations for Millennium Aviation in Bern Township.

Howe said blowing a tire is rare, and when it happens at a high rate of speed it's incredibly dangerous. It happened to him before.

"I heard a pop and there was a little bit of a veer, but I was beyond the speed at which the takeoff was supposed to continue," said Howe.

According to Howe, it's more dangerous for a tire to blow during takeoff than it is during landing because there is less runway left. He said those passengers on board were extremely lucky.

"It sounds to me there was some very good training and good design that went into a successful outcome on this event," said Howe.

The crippled plane was removed from the runway and put into a hanger. It is being examined by investigators as they try to determine what caused the accident.