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  #1  
Old 01-07-2007, 11:14 AM
striker striker is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 13
Unhappy Flat Tire on Takeoff

I experienced a flat tire this past Saturday on takeoff and thought I would share the experience so others might benefit.

I was in takeoff mode and about to let the nose rotate (RV6A) when I heard a pop and got an immediate thumping sound. I was able to shut down the engine quickly and coast about 20 yards or so and after jumping out I could quickly see the problem- the nose wheel flat as could be.

As I was standing there looking at the plane on the centerline I realized there was quick work to be done- removal of the plane and what to do about incoming traffic.

A quick call on the GNS430 alerted all traffic to the situation and the first pilot that responded made a decision to switch the active runway for himself and others- good decisive call by that pilot.

The moving of the plane was a bigger issue in that I could not see anyone around the airport and since it was not my homebase I had no tools, friends etc to ask for help. I did have a Phillips on board in an emercency kit so the wheel pants were off in a jiffy. Next I walked to some hangers and found a trash can that was on a dolly with 2 welded supports in the middle and 4 caster wheels.

I was worried the rim/tire might not stay in place so I solved that by finding a piece of plywood in the trash bin that just fit on the dolly- things were looking up. Also found some old rope which would help in tying down the wheel.

As I was walking to the plane with the dolly an individual offered to help with his pickup. After the nose wheel was centered on the plywood I sat on the back of the truck and held on to the prop for the slow ride back to the hangers.

New tire and tube will be ordered Monday AM from Vans and I will fly the plane out sometime later in the week. I am most thankful this did not happen after takeoff- the thought of landing at my home airport ( towered ) w/o the nose wheel working would have been a real test of my flight skills and a big headache for KLZU.

BTW- the nose wheel looked great on the preflight inspection.


Pete Joslin
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2007, 11:46 AM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 10,182
Default Good Job!

Good job in keeping everything in one piece, and working through the problem Pete!

Any clue yet what caused the tire to go flat? When I had a flat main that was cut by the edge of the wheel pant, the slice was so razor-thin that I couldn't see it until I flexed the sidewall.

Paul
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Paul F. Dye
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie" - TMXO-360, Hartzell BA Prop, GRT EFIS/TruTrak/Garmin Panel - 1700+ Hours!
RV-6 (By Marriage) -N164MS - "Mikey" - Lyc O-360, Garmin G3X EFIS/Autopilot - 2999+ hours
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu" - TMXIO-320, WW 151 Prop, G3X/TruTrak/Garmin Avionics Suite - 330+ Hours
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2007, 11:57 AM
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AlexPeterson AlexPeterson is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Maple Grove, MN
Posts: 1,689
Default

Pete, glad everything worked out.

If yours is typical, the leak is on the sidewall of the tube. Something about the way the crappy tire flexes causes the tubes to be chewed along the sidewall. We should all bug the various tire manufacturers into making a decent nosewheel innertube, and tire for that matter. If they hear from enough of us, they may design one.

Until that time, the innertubes on nosewheels should be changed every year or so, depending on miles. Additionally, flying without a spare innertube or two on board is asking for trouble, as they are not available anywhere.

I had three flat tires in the first three years with my nosewheel. Using copious amounts of baby powder and keeping the pressure towards the high end would seem to help. Writing this motivates me to change mine again.

An interesting statistic would be to see how many tubes Van has sold relative to flying A models.
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RV6A N66AP 1400+ hours
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2007, 12:52 PM
striker striker is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 13
Default Flat Tire

Thanks for the input. The front tire/tube are 2 years old right now and I had planned to change this April at annual. Now I will change all tires/tubes at the annual inspection regardless of condition. After my experience I just don't think it is worth taking a chance.

I will also report on the failure point when I find it this week.

Pete Joslin
RV6A 103.8 hours
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2007, 02:19 PM
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LifeofReiley LifeofReiley is offline
 
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Location: Round Rock, TX
Posts: 3,411
Default Tire and tube

IMHO, I would buy an air-stop tube and a quality tire for the replacement. A good tube makes a difference.
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2007, 03:31 PM
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AlexPeterson AlexPeterson is offline
 
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Location: Maple Grove, MN
Posts: 1,689
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeofReiley
IMHO, I would buy an air-stop tube and a quality tire for the replacement. A good tube makes a difference.
We all agree. The problem is no one makes one.
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RV6A N66AP 1400+ hours
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www.n66ap.alexap.com
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2007, 04:40 PM
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ArmyDad ArmyDad is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Strongsville, (Cleveland), OH
Posts: 29
Default Replacing Tire and Tube

FWIW:
I just replaced my RV7 "eh" nosewheel tire and tube after 265 hrs and 590 landings since 9/11/05. The original tire was a " Chen Shin " (sp?) or something like that. Anyhow the new tire is marked " Aero Classic" ( also made in china).
The new tire is just a tad bit smaller than the original and as a result it is more of a bear than normal to get the wheel halves in place.
As mentioned, a liberal amount of talc, plus inflate and deflate the tube several times.

To avoid pinching the tube, the archives suggested clamping the tire and squeezing it onto one half the wheel, However due to this new tire being slightly smaller that was nigh impossible. I had to jury rig a threaded rod and homemade large washers to pull the wheel halves together just enough to get one thread started on each wheel bolt. Then used an inspection mirror and "popsicle" stick to insure the tube was not pinched before tightening down the wheel bolts.
YMMV.
Regards,
Bernie Ockuly (L.G.I.T.W.)
N914E
Strongsville, Ohio
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  #8  
Old 01-07-2007, 04:49 PM
Finley Atherton Finley Atherton is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: AUSTRALIA
Posts: 634
Default

I am yet to be convinced that the RV nose wheel tire is all that bad. I am guessing there are a lot of RVs out there that have got excellent service from this tire. I presume that the tire Vans supplies is the new version of the old “Lamb” brand. This has been the recommended tyre for the mains on the LongEze/Vari-Eze for many years and to the best of my knowledge has given excellent service. The tires are mounted on Cleveland wheels on the LongEze/Vari-Eze and maybe this combination is more compatible than with the nose wheel used on the RVs? The Ezes also run them at much higher pressure (between 60 to 80 psi from memory) which would give less flexing of the sidewall. These tyres are available in 6 and 8 ply. The ones I got with my 9A kit are 8 ply. Maybe Vans supplied 6 ply tires in the past which are likely to be more easily damaged??
It seems that flexing of the sidewalls on the RV nose tire could be a problem. Does anyone have any experience/comments running these tires at a higher pressure than Vans recommends? The tires themselves are rated at 94 psi max.
Fin
9A. Nearly finished (wishful thinking)
Vari-Eze
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2007, 07:01 PM
redbeardmark redbeardmark is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KWMC
Posts: 317
Default data point for nosewheel flat

One nosewheel flat due to a large Russian Olive tree thorn. Temporarily fixed with Slime and a foot pump(both of which now reside in the forward baggage--thus countering Murphy's Law), replaced tube after returning home. Like most, I run my nosewheel pressure at about 35psi. It has been said that higher pressures lead to shimmey. Don't know if this is fact because I'm too chicken to find out. My nosewheel has seen a bit of dirt, gravel, and grass in 633 hours. Light front end with Catto prop/parallel valve O-360/Odyssey battery might be easier on the tire?
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RV8A N598X
Land on the mains first!
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2007, 08:54 PM
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newtech newtech is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 587
Default

I received my -7A finish kit a couple of weeks ago and thought it was a little curious that Van included two nose wheel inner tubes. I guess it is because they develop leaks.

Steve Eberhart
RV-7A, just mounted the tail. Now on to the sliding canopy.
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