To the untrained eye, one might not know what airline owns this Boeing 737. Lucky for us airline nerds, it is easy to tell that it is either a Boeing 737 with United or Continental livery.

This incident happed a few months back in in Greenville, Mississippi after the aircraft was painted to the new United Airlines livery. It had completed being painted and was about to be flown to Houston on a ferry flight. While taxiing out to the runway, the concrete collapsed under the left main gear, causing it to fold.

Luckily there were no passengers on board and both pilots were able to escape, uninjured, out the back of the aircraft.

It appears as though United didn’t want to be associated with a broken down aircraft on the taxi-way and they covered up all the identifiable markings. This is not uncommon for airlines to do when their aircraft become severely damaged.

I tried to get a status update on the aircraft from United, but at this time they have no comment. I have been trying to track down the registration number of this aircraft, but I have not had any luck. Super brownie points to anyone who can.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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Ouch! So which insurance company pays that bill? The airport?

I was just about to say the same, ‘Ouch’!

Hey man – it was ship 221. Don’t know the reg number.

SHOULD be reg number N12221, a 738. However, it looks a whale of a lot like a 739. I’ll dig up more dirt.


N12221 when to GLH on May 4 but never left:

It is Ship 221 .. well, Ship 0221 now. N12221 a 738. After some major repair work it was able..just.. to ferry to CO(UA)s MX center at MCO at the end of May. It’s still there undergoing ‘Recovery’. No ETR as of yet.

I thought ‘painting the tail’ was an old, outdated knee jerk reaction to accidents? I was led to believe as long as the airline dealt with an accident in a professional way, they should be proud to show their colours…


FYI United (before SOC) isn’t flying any 737 of any kind – so this means it will either be in operation after the merger is complete or it is currently in Continental’s fleet (before SOC)

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