Nightly News | September 09, 2012
>>> tonight investigators are trying to figure out why a landing gear door the size of a refrigerator fell from the sky off a boeing 757 crashing into a neighborhood near seattle. no one was hurt but it gave a lot of folks there quite a scare. we have more from charles hadlock.
>> reporter: it is a mystery of sorts.
>> and this big part landed behind that red car over there.
>> reporter: how a landing gear door from a passing jetliner ended up crashing into a seattle area neighborhood.
>> it was a big flap of metal.
>> reporter: neighbors say they saw a low flying plane just before the door slammed to the ground.
>> i came back and there was a part of an airplane sitting here.
>> reporter: a tag on the door indicates it came from a boeing 767 .
>> they are going to look at the maintenance of it and then also whether the airplane, whether the gear was extended at the proper speeds.
>> reporter: it is not the first time airplane parts have rained down. last may in toronto chunks of metal from an engine peppered a neighborhood with debris smashing car windows . in florida the door from a stairwell ripped away and landed on a golf course . in 2009 an engine exploded on takeoff in brazil. the plane landed safely but bum barded a neighborhood with parts.
>> when you think of the amount of flights we do per day both with the airline airplanes as well as general aviation there are thousands of airplanes that fly every day and it is very rare to have something come off of them.
>> reporter: back in washington state john hanson is holding on to part of a plane's door.
>> a souvenir.
>> reporter: charles hadlock, nbc news.