Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is looking into an incident in which an Air Canada aircraft lost one of its undercarriage wheels prior to takeoff on a transatlantic flight April 16.

The Airbus A330-300, with 294 passengers on board, landed safely when the missing wheel was discovered.

The aircraft took off from Montreal April 16 and landed at London Heathrow the following day, local time.

Photographs taken at Heathrow and posted on a specialist website apparently show one of the four starboard wheels had completely detached from the hub.

“Preliminary information indicates that a wheel separated from the aircraft while taxiing down the runway before takeoff Sunday night in Montreal and came to rest beside the runway,” Air Canada said in a written statement.

“As the landing gear is comprised of eight wheels in addition the two nose wheels, this had no impact on the safe operation of the flight. Flight AC864 … landed normally in London and taxied to the gate. Passengers on the returning flight were re-booked on other flights later while the aircraft was repaired,” Air Canada said.

A TSB spokeswoman, asked whether it was launching an investigation into the incident, said the organization was “presently gathering information and assessing the occurrence.”

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com