Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Flat tire at 3R9

Saturday, 12/20
Drove to Spicewood and fired up the RV.  At Lakeway I intended to refuel and tie down and run some errands with the truck.  But just as I had the fuel pump all ready to go and was about to fill the right tank, I noticed that the right main tire was really low.

Holy cow, my first flat tire....

I decided not to add any more weight and shut down the pump.  Collected the receipt for $0.00 and tried to pull the plane away from the pump and over to a tie down.  No such luck, it was not budging.  I could turn around the flat tire, but that wheel was not turning.  Great, stuck at the gas pump.   By now the tire was completely flat and the wheel fairing was flat on the ground.  The bad part about this that it is now almost impossible to remove the two bottom screws to remove the fairing.  Really stuck.

Fortunately Wayne answered the phone and was able to help me get a jack and an air tank.  Got the wheel high enough to finish removing the fairing, and aired up the tire.  It held air just long enough to taxi to his hangar so I could work on it there. 

At Wayne's house, I had a bit of help from Jeff Klass and Keith Durio.  We jacked up the plane again and removed the wheel.  We never did find anything wrong with the tire.   It was time to rotate the tire again, and they need replacing at annual, but there was no puncture that we could find.   It looked like the inner tube failed at a seam.  Maybe I had it just a bit low and a sharp turn at the gas pump tore it.  It's a mystery.  Fortunately Keith had a spare inner tube and I was able get it installed fairly quickly.  After that I aired up the other two tires for good measure.  Two weeks later and all three wheels are still happy.