A pair of worn-out seals failed and twisted the nose gear on a JetBlue airliner, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing three years ago at Los Angeles International Airport, according to a federal report released this week.
Two of the four anti-rotation lugs in the Airbus A320's nose landing gear had fractured and separated due to induced fatigue from a series of tests, the National Transportation Safety Board reported.
The failed lugs caused the plane's nose landing gear to twist 90 degrees upon takeoff from Burbank's Bob Hope Airport on Sept. 21, 2005, according to the NTSB.
Flight 292 was bound for New York's John F. Kennedy International when the pilot and air traffic controllers realized that the nose wheel was skewed.
The plane burned fuel by circling LAX for three hours. Sparks flew from the crippled nose gear when the jetliner finally touched down, making for a spectacular sight on live television.
No injuries were reported among the 139 passengers, two pilots and four flight attendants on board.
A contributing factor to the incident was the design of the plane's brake steering control unit system, which prevented the nose wheels from being able to face the right way, the NTSB reported.
Additionally, Airbus did not have a procedure that would have allowed the flight crew to reset the system and restore hydraulic pressure, according to the report.
Airbus has since upgraded the system to take care of the problem, the NTSB reported.