This is a topic which I assumed would have been posted on here already, and one which I was surprised to not find (I gave a thorough search for this topic but couldn’t find anything).
On Sunday, September 9th, a student pilot on her solo lost her right main landing gear strut and tire on takeoff, triggering a necessary emergency landing. Maggie Taraska, the pilot on the flight, was informed by ATC shortly after rotation that her right main gear was no longer attached to the aircraft. After receiving instruction from ATC to circle the field, the obviously shaken student regained composure and, with the help of her instructor on the ground, executed an emergency landing.
I was amazed when I heard this story, and props to Maggie for pulling this one off. This situation, however, demonstrates the importance of a proper preflight. We can take for granted maintenance and airworthiness certs, and can certainly get used to our planes being on the line and ready to fly. It will be interesting to see what the conclusion from the NTSB is moving forward as to what exactly caused the right main gear to become separated from the aircraft on this flight.
Below are the ATC from the incident, as well as a local news story chronicling the event. In the end, this was some great flying on Maggie’s part, and she should be proud of her performance in handling this emergency.