With a screaming whistle, a six-foot section of the landing gear cover dropped from a TWA Boeing 747 jumbo jet and crashed into the yard of a South Compton Avenue construction company Saturday, frightening workers and damaging a fence but causing no injuries.
The plane, carrying 180 passengers and a crew of 15, was approaching Los Angeles International Airport on a direct flight from London's Heathrow Airport about 3 p.m. when the part dropped off.
TWA spokesman Don Morrison said in a telephone interview that the plane "landed routinely." Morrison said he did not know whether the pilot even was aware of the missing part.
"It scared the hell out of me," said Rodney Hampton, supervisor at the B&G Construction Co., where the white aluminium six-foot-by-eight-foot section landed. "I heard a whistling noise and just a bang and then something like a pipe being banged against cement--just a loud noise."