Flat Landing Gear Tire

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Tirebeer, May 26, 2022.

  1. Tirebeer

    Tirebeer Guest

    I had a flat tire when rolling out upon landing.
    The whole story is like this…
    I had a flat when I stopped at another airport for fuel. No tools nor facility available for me to fix the flat, but the locals had air to inflate my slow leak.
    Here’s my question. Should I have left the plane at that airport and drive 3 hours home then wait a few days to get a new tire, then drive back with tools to repair the flat?
    (I guess the FAA would say do it the safest way.)
     
  2. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    A known defective tire is a known airworthiness issue. So basically, you knowingly flew an unairworthy aircraft. That is how the FAA would look at it.
     
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  3. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    something similar happened to me several years back. a buddy and i flew XC KARR>KBMI for a meeting. no issues landing but when we returned to the airport we discovered a flat nose wheel. the ground crew at BMI tried inflating it but the tire would not hold air.

    the plane was a rental so i called the FBO. they authorized me to rent a car one way for the trip home at their cost. a few days later a buddy flew me down to BMI to pick up the plane. turned out to be a blown tube. chesp chinese cr*p. Even if the the tire had held air i would’ve been reluctant to fly it home. different story if they had had a replacement tube on hand.
     
  4. Notatestpilot

    Notatestpilot Pre-Flight

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    If the FAA finds out, your pilots license will be revoked!
     
  5. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    So you took off knowing you’d have a flat on landing? That’s sounds like a bad idea on many fronts, between safety, to the wear on the rim, to possibly shutting down a runway for a tow.

    I would have ether gone to the auto store/hardware store and fixed it, FYI some GA tubes are about the size of some non GA tubes, for educational FYI only of course.

    Been around to see what’s a big deal and not a big deal, I wouldn’t have done that flight.
     
  6. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    We’ve discussed the practicalities and legalities of FixaFlat here in the past.
    Several widely differing opinions.
    I used to carry some… but was glad I was never faced with the moral dilemma!
     
  7. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    I guess nobody knows how to patch a tube anymore. I can't even find a patch kit now.

    Most non-GA tires are tubeless. Not much help there.

    Sometimes tires go flat because the tube has been used in several tires. They do wear out. They age. The joint where the stem joins the tube suffers from UV and ozone and it hardens and cracks and leaks.

    Goodyear was using a part number decal inside their tires. It had an overlay of a harder clear plastic, and that overlay would work loose and start chafing the tube and cause a leak. I SDR'd a bunch of those. And I started taking those decals out of new tires before I mounted them.
     
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I blew a tire at Oshkosh trying to be cool and make the first turnoff on 36L. I got to demonstrate to the crowds at P4 how you change the tire on a Navion.
     
  9. DaleB

    DaleB Final Approach

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    Easy peasy. Bicycle shops and Amazon have them. I’ve even used one fairly recently.
     
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  10. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Are you sure it was flat.??

    Maybe the other two just swelled up....
     
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  11. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It was only flat on the bottom.
     
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  12. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    But did you look cool doing so?
     
  13. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It wasn't a Duke, but it was pretty cool. I was just happy a friend of mine had a pair of Navion tires he was going to dump on the Aeromart that he gave me.
     
  14. Randomskylane

    Randomskylane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m starting to believe in a vast tire conspiracy (you know, big tire like big corn big oil etc)

    not one but two low mileage Michelins (car) sprouted steel belts

    tube in nose wheel - manufacturing defect- didn’t last five years

    etc etc
     
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  15. Dana

    Dana En-Route

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    Super glue & Scotch tape works just as well.
     
  16. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    1. Cleveland still builds their wheels for tube-type tires. Why, oh why, have they and the tire manufacturers not collaborated on tires with the sealed membrane in them to make them tubeless, and an O-ring seal in the wheel halves' joint?

    2. Cleveland still builds their main wheels with felt grease seals. Auto manufacturer's abandoned that technology 100 years ago, for leather, and leather was replaced with nitriles 60 or more years ago. Cleveland has come up with nitrile seals for their nosewheels, but the mounting can accommodate that. Mains are a little more hassle. Felt seals keep rocks out, and not much else. They won't even keep water out if you don't saturate the seal with grease, and even then some guy with a pressure washer will send water past the seal, and water in there will kill those bearings in very short order.

    3. Why is there no radial tire for light airplanes? Cars got them 50 years ago. And why are brand-new aircraft tires more out-of-round and imbalanced than the cheapest car tires?

    4. Why do aircraft brake calipers still use a single 1940s-technology Buna-N o-ring instead of the far superior heat-resistant oil seals and dust seals cars use, and have used for 50 years?

    5. Why do aircraft engines still use cork and composition gaskets? Other technologies dumped gaskets a long time ago, for o-rings and other synthetic seals.

    One answer to all of those: The market is much too small, and the competition too negligible, to force the changes. The manufacturers would get no returns on their costs.
     
  17. Dana

    Dana En-Route

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    The cost of TSO certification is a big part. A lot of those things are available for experimentals.
     
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  18. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    But there are alternatives. Its just not at the larger scale production side. Was a time when owners upgraded their aircraft with "newer" designs all the time but ever since the restart of GA in the 90s that desire has gone to the wayside. Granted, the GA industry is much smaller now, but the same upgrade paths and processes are still there for the taking with some routes made even easier. Throw in the overall education and understanding of the "upgrade" process is not widely known or pursued by owners and mechanics any more as it once was. It seems now people only look for plug and play upgrade options at a cost point lower than the equivalent OEM part price. And in some cases there are plug/play options just not cheaper. For example, Beranger offers tubeless wheels/upgraded brake kits for Cessna 180/182 under an STC.
    Its not so much TSO costs that vendors balk at, it is the PMA/STC costs that limit a wider availability as the PMA/STC provides the install approval. A TSOA does not. Since a majority of TSOs are based on 3rd party industry standards like SAE, a TSOA is the "cheapest/easiest" approval, relatively speaking, to obtain provided there is a TSOA for the product produced.
     
  19. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    That's part of it, but changing the device to take an O-ring involves some major mods. A rocker cover, for instance, is a stamped-steel affair that like takes a few seconds to make. It uses a gasket. One that takes an o-ring must be either machined from a billet of aluminum (such as SDS does) or cast of aluminum and then its face machined flat and an O-ring groove machined into it. Both are more work and more expensive than the stamped-steel affair. A magneto would be far easier to adapt to an oring, as would vacuum pumps or fuel pumps. Case halves, oil sumps and accessory covers, if there was enough material in the flange, could take a groove for a strip of o-ring. O-rings are already used as cylinder base flange seals, and have been for a very long time, since gaskets would allow relative movement every time the cylinder fired. (Some people "improve" that seal by using RTV between the faces, and suffer the dire consequences.)
     
  20. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    I did not know that, so I looked it up. Turns out that they were STC'd in October of last year, while I retired four years ago. Too bad, and too bad that it's only for the 180/182 series. We had 185 owners that would gladly have sprung for this beautiful stuff. I see that they still don't use any dust seals on the caliper pistons, though, and the lack of such a seal is what ruins so many calipers. Water and dirt get in there, corrode and chew up the piston and bore, and leakage is the result.

    Looks like they're using sealed ball bearings. At least the bearings have a chance of survival.

    Thanks for the heads-up.
     
  21. Bk555

    Bk555 Filing Flight Plan

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    Yeah renting a car is alot cheaper than replacing a hub and a few of the landing runways lights
     
  22. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    While I personally haven't seen any, I've heard there are individuals seeking their own approvals to install Berangers on 172s and other like aircraft. I don't know if they're getting any help from the vendor but at least its a step in the right direction. Also heard similar talk on tubeless Grove wheels being installed on Cessna products.
     
  23. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Wonder what tire size they can accommodate, and the price, wouldn’t 185s want larger tires?
     
  24. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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  25. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The amount of time the airplane spends rolling on the tires and using the brakes is tiny compared to cars. Weight is a driving factor.
     
  26. consnard

    consnard Filing Flight Plan

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    A leak is a leak, there is no light one because you don't know when it gets big. You had to let the plane go home and come back with tools to repair the puncture. Always be careful
     
  27. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    To me, having a "flat" at the distal airport, but it having a "slow leak", leads me to believe it was pretty darned low at pre-flight.
     
  28. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    Keep a spare tube in my plane. Figure if anything I can get a local guy with a jack and some tools. Chance of them having the spare tube would be a different story.
     
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