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Old 11-15-2017, 01:09 PM
fbrewer fbrewer is offline
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Leander
Posts: 99
Default Flat Tire and Ground Loop - RV6

Got to thinking about flat tires on the RV-6.

I had a right main tire blow out in the air on a Beechcraft V tail. The landing was sporty. As I slowed, the drag to the right was very strong.

Full left rudder did not stop the drift to the right. Only when I applied left brake was I able to stop the drift and keep it on the runway.

So, as I think about my new RV-6, I could imagine a flat tire could easily lead to a ground loop on landing.

Has anyone here experienced a flat tire when landing a tailwheel RV?

Were you able to keep the bird from ground looping?

I'm thinking a 3-pt landing would be better than a wheel landing in this situation.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:20 PM
alpinelakespilot2000 alpinelakespilot2000 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,728

I landed with a flat tire at Astoria with Mike Seager in his -7 during my transition training. Not sure when the tire lost air, but it was hard to notice until we slowed down, then it became obvious. We were able to taxi off the runway, but barely. In short, no tendency to ground loop, but perhaps that was because tire lost air only after touch down. Hard to know for sure.
Steve M.
Ellensburg WA
RV-9 Flying, 0-320, Catto

Donation reminder: Jan. 2022
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:58 PM
FLY6 FLY6 is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Burlington On. Ca
Posts: 173
Default Ground loop

Landed my 6 loaded heavy and the tire blew on landing. Pulled to the left which made men think seized brake but was easy to control. No real issue, wheel pant even survived.
Al Grant
Flying RV6, O-320, 160hp
Burlington, On
Dues Paid
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:01 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,829

I think I've had two flats landing RV taildraggers, and both of them were completely controllable - like someone mentioned above, it was hard to figure out there was a problem until I got slow. One tip however, if you figure out you've got a flat, don't let it stop while you're still on the runway, cause no amount of reasonable power is goign to get it goign again!

Get it clear before it stops - the other pilots will thank you.
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 11-15-2017, 04:50 PM
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JohnInReno JohnInReno is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Prescott Valley/Chandler AZ
Posts: 352
Default Havasu

I had a flat in the air in an RV4. It became very obvious half way through the roll out and barely made it off the runway. Easy to control with the wheel pant acting as a skid. Ground off some fiberglass but that was all.
John Morgensen
RV-9A N946PM 600+ hours since 2013
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:21 PM
fbrewer fbrewer is offline
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Leander
Posts: 99


Thanks for the feedback. I feel better knowing that the landing is mostly controllable.

Did you wheel land or 3-pt?
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Old 11-16-2017, 05:09 AM
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Simon Hitchen Simon Hitchen is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 306
Default Wheel

I wheel landed an 8 with an unknown flat right main gear and it felt odd as I started to slow. Feeling the drag to the right I used rudder then brake to keep straight. Not knowing exactly what had happened and quickly realising that taxiing wasn't going to be easy I decided to stop where I was. It ground the wheel pant down a little and sure, I closed the runway for 30 minutes but hey. The landing was controllable and nothing to worry about. Good tip: when the ground support crew put a dolley under the tire, the wheel pant didn't quite fit and suffered more damage. Remove it before allowing the dolley to be used which in itself was not easy because the lower screws were just about touching the runway and tough to remove. Took a few days to re-glass and paint the wheel pant.

Simon Hitchen
Port Perry, ON, Canada
7 Tip Up, Titan XIO-360, Dual P-Mags, Airflow Performance matched Injectors, Sensenich FP Prop, 2 Dynon Skyviews, GPS-175, GTR-200, GTX-327. Day/night VFR/ IFR

Last edited by Simon Hitchen : 11-16-2017 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:23 AM
fbrewer fbrewer is offline
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Leander
Posts: 99


Thanks for the info and pics
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:42 AM
Joewebb Joewebb is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Sydney
Posts: 49

Buy yourself a motorcycle TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system)off ebay
Screw on Valve cap sensors and a digital pressure and temperature monitor for your panel....they even have ones with an Iphone APP.

At least you can prepare for it if you know your tyres flat in flight
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:02 AM
Rx7thHeaven Rx7thHeaven is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Greensboro NC
Posts: 34

I am glad to see that it seems this is a somewhat controllable situation. I am relatively new to the RV and Tailwheel world. Purchased my -8 in December 2016. About a month back I was doing a quick fuel run and when heading home I taxied to the hold short line with no issues, did a quick run up and when I went to pull onto the rwy, the plane would not move. The only thing it would do was pivot on the flat. It has haunted me ever since what would have happened if I was able to get it off the ground before it went flat (no puncture, fairly new tube just split). I am based at a 30ft wide strip with unforgiving runoff areas. But like someone previously said, it was not going to move, so I always assumed I would have touched down and immediately pivoted right into the woods. But sounds like it is a situation that can be dealt with.

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