Vietnam Airlines grounded its fleet of ATR 72-500s on 21 October after technicians found a missing wheel on one of its turboprops' front landing gear after a flight.

The turboprop, registered as VN-B219, had taken off from Cat Bi International Airport in Hai Phong and landed at Da Nang airport with any incident. Technicians conducting a regular check on the turboprop, however, found that its front landing gear was missing one of two wheels, and the shaft connecting the wheel was damaged.

"It is unclear where the wheel dropped, but it probably happened during take-off," a Vietnam Airlines spokesman tells Flightglobal Pro.

He adds that the state-owned carrier decided to suspend all ATR operations, and flew its fleet of 14 ATR 72s back to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi for maintenance checks. No further issues were detected and 13 of the turboprops were returned to operations at 05:00 local time on 22 October.

VN-B219, however, remains grounded at Da Nang. Flightglobal Pro data shows that the turboprop entered into service in 2009 and is owned by Vietnam Airlines.

Vietnam Airlines says it has reported the incident to the country's civil aviation administration, and that it will continue to work with the authorities and ATR to investigate the cause of the incident.

Flightglobal Pro data shows that the carrier operates a fleet of 77 aircraft including the ATR 72s, Boeing 777s and Airbus A320s.