Monday, April 30, 2012

Only flat on the bottom

It wasn't meant to be. Although storms were moving in late afternoon the weather right now looked pretty good. I might be able to squeeze in a few landings at Butter Valley if I hurried. (HAH...never hurry, it doesn't help.)

Harry had his door open so I stopped by to talk. He is very busy, in this economy and this business that is great news. I had planned for an oil change in April, but the windy weather forced me to postpone until May. While is calendar is full, he'll try to squeeze me in next week.

The Preflight was normal until I tried to move her out of the hangar. Once I removed the pant I could see the tire was completely flat. I used my little compressor and inflated to 1.8 bars and waited. It seemed to hold and I could find not other indications of a leak so I put the pant back on pulled her out. Normal start and warm up, I drove down the little concrete strip between the hangars. I did notice a left pull as I went across the grass, but no issue as we back taxied on runway 16. There is nearly 700' of turf before the asphalt so I had a chance to taxi out onto the grass again, and she did pull to the left. I shut her down and checked. The tire looked OK, but hidden by the pant and the turf it was really hard to see anything. So I started her up, ran the checklists and made my take off call. We were easily up before the asphalt.

Closed pattern, I made my best effort at a soft field landing. You MUST land on the grass for RWY16, the asphalt drops away at a steep angle making a go around the only choice if you allow her to float. We landed short of the asphalt and I let her roll to about mid-field. I tried to make a right turn...nope Well, I could but it was very awkward. Time to head back to the hangar.

As we climbed the hill to get around the old silo she started to drift left. I was on the concrete now so turning should not be an issue. I shut her down right there. Yep, flat tire. So I removed the pant again, pumped the tire up again and rolled her to the barn. The picture tells 'the rest of the story'. I told Harry to put a tube on order and block out some time for me whenever he can.

No comments:

Post a Comment