Don't let this man fly your plane

Walt was kind enough to drop by WVI today for lunch. After some hearty Mexican fare at Zuniga’s (on the field) he offered me the chance to take his plane around the patch.

We went a little further than the patch (down the coast and back) and my landing was not beautiful but not too terrible. I was letting it

roll out long, and just before we reached the

taxiway there was a rather nasty noise and a strong pull to the left–the left main tire had blown.

So I managed to break Walt’s plane, close the main runway at Watsonville for nearly an hour (it was a comedy of errors getting the plane jacked up so we could get a cart under the injured wheel), and got in trouble with my daughter (for not picking her up) to boot. The only injury was to my pride and one side of the wheel pant (which contacted the runway when the tire was flat–they don’t have a great deal of clearance).

It’s not clear what happened, I’m sure a number of people will want to see the remains of the tire.

Luckily the helpful folks at Watsonville Aviation were able to get Walt going again.

Let this be a warning to you! Sigh.

Let this be a warning to you! Sigh.

Dave is being unduly harsh with himself. The fact is that both mains appear to show some unusual wear on the inside tread of both mains. I suspect it is likely a tire alignment issue of some sort. The left main that blew was down to the cords I am embarassed to say. I did look and saw nothing prior to takeoff (yes, I did look), but most of the tires are out of view (in the wheel pant). I may have to roll the plane forward to fully inspect, but I wouldn’t expected that this plane with a little less than 200 hours would need “new rubber”. Del Monte Aviation Maintenance at Monterey will work the problem tomorrow in consultation with Cirrus.

Dave, you can still fly again. :wink: (Sorry about your daughter.)

Walt and Dave,

Sorry about the mishap, but thanks for sharing the stories! I know there are many that hang on every word. These are the small things that make the wait tolerable.

Walt and Dave,

Sorry about the mishap, but thanks for sharing the stories! I know there are many that hang on every word. These are the small things that make the wait tolerable.

Del Monte Aviation (Monterey) is excellent and I should have some more information later today or tomorrow. I suspect it is an alignment, toe-in or out, or camber issue. We’ll see. “News @ 11.”

We’ll see. “News @ 11.”

The news is that (1) it took longer than expected to diagnose the problem and correct it; and (b) the plane needed some parts from Cirrus, which have now been installed. The bottom line is that the tires were out of alignment/camber, which caused excessive tire wear. It was the excessive wear than caused the tire to go flat (not Dave’s landing). Several comments: first it is extremely difficult to see the entire tire without someone pulling the plane forward while someone lies on the ground to observe the tire. One would have to do that for each main Â… the person doing the pulling could see the nose wheel. I have always checked the tires Â… at least that portion I could see and felt comfortable with that, but with this happening I am much more diligent about tire inspection in the preflight. In addition the main landing gear tires require more pressure than what was normal for our Tiger Â… the mains require about 53 psi. We used to keep the Tiger about 30-35 psi. Finally, the plane came equipped with AirHawk tires. I have upgraded the tires to GoodYear Custom IIs, which are a superior tire.

For those that are interested there are some metal shims that are used where the wheel attaches to the fiberglass landing strut. The shims correct for alignment and for camber. You cannot have more than four shims per wheel. Del Monte made about a 3 to 4 degree change primarily to camber.

The plane is back on the line and doing fine. The wheel pant got a little scratched, but unless you know which one it was you cannot tell. I hope this answers the questions any of you had about the tire mishap at Watsonville.