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3 Answers

Flat Tire Landing with a Cessna

Asked by: 4626 views General Aviation, Light Sport Aircraft, Private Pilot

The Cessna POH (172R) lists a Emergency Checklist for "Landing with a Flat MAIN/NOSE Tire.

Thats very nice! :D, BUT, how does one know in first place if the tire is flat when "airborne", specially the nose gear??

I cant figure out how you could possibly see or figure it out, unless until touch down...

I have seen uninflated Cessna tires before that were not attached to the plane, and their uninflated appearance does not differentiate from their inflated look i would say. So, when airborne, you dont have any pressure on them....

Any Idea's or experience?


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3 Answers

  1. Dave on Dec 06, 2012

    A scenario that would probably produce this would be on takeoff roll out after you’ve reached VR and tire gets punctured by FOD on the runway. You would feel it become mushy but would still have speed & lift to take off (with presumably not enough runway to just abort). Of course you’d want to come right back to the airport instead of taking it on your trip. Another scenario would be if you had a bird strike and you suspected tire damage. But there would be no absolute way you would know until you examined it on the ground.

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  2. Lucas on Dec 06, 2012

    You wouldn’t know at all.
    I had I tire pop on takeoff once because of debris left by another departing aircraft. The only thing me and the student noticed was a real strong vibration on the nose wheel and the student promptly pulled back on the yoke (we were close to takeoff speed anyway). After we landed the same strong vibration once again shook the airplane and back pressure was applied once more (we both thought the shimmy dampener was acting up, which was common on some older c-172 models), but as the airplane started loosing lift the shaking started all over and it didn’t stop even while taxiing back to the ramp.

    We then found a piece of metal stuck in the wheel and after the mechanic inspected the plane he confirmed that we most likely had struck a piece of debris on the runway.

    Even on a multi engine airplane, where you have a mirror placed on one of the engines to check the nose gear position, you wouldn’t be able to see if it was damaged because in flight it would most likely look inflated.

    If you had actually blown the tire to the point where you could visually notice it, you would have probably popped it at the beginning of the take off roll, and If that had happened you should have aborted the take off because of the excessive vibration.

    Checklists cover all possible things that could happen to the aircraft. Some of the covered items are unlikely to occur or be noticed, but, in the name of safety, they are still covered.

    The only way I can think you would be able to positively (suspect) that you had a flat nose wheel is that, after taking off while experiencing heavy vibration, you hear on the radio another aircraft calling the tower to report debris on the runway. After a little bit of logical thinking you might assume that the vibration was due to a flat tire.

    Hope this helps


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  3. Matthew Waugh on Dec 10, 2012

    Like many parts of the POH this part was written by lawyers, for lawyers.

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