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Chock

Kick the tires and light the fires...

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As you probably know, when you are the person who is on the headset to the crew for the pushback, part of your responsibility is to perform the final walkaround check of the aircraft and then report the readiness of the aircraft to the crew having done that. Typically you'll say something along the lines of: 'Ground to flight, walkaround check completed, all GSE clear of the aircraft, all doors and hatches secure, bypass pin and towbar connected, standing by to push when you have your clearance.' After that, you of course make sure the aircraft pushes out safely and starts its engines safely.

So, that walkaround check is reasonably thorough because you'll be the one who gets the blame if something untoward happens on account of you not spotting it. As such, I always make a detailed check of things such as the engines, wings and tires in good time, then make a final check of things like the doors etc just before the push. This is so that I have time to report anything untoward to the crew, and if my comment concerns them, they'll have time to come and take a look for themselves.

So I thought you might like to see some of the tire conditions I've reported. Now keep in mind that all these tires are considered okay in spite of appearances, but just to cover my own word not allowed, if I ever see stuff like this, I take a pic on my phone and them advise the crew, sometimes passing my phone up to the open cockpit window so they can take a look at the pic (one of the advantages of a B737). As I say, believe it or not, these are all considered 'good to go' because airliner tires have many layers and are very thick, so they are not like car tires in this respect, but if you didn't know this, you might think looked a bit dodgy. All these pictures are from various KLM Boeing 737 NGs (700s, 800s and 900s), who do seem to want to get quite a bit of mileage out of their tires!

This first one shows the nose gear, you can see the towbar is connected between the wheels and above that is one of the taxy lights on the gear:

//5U1n0cT.jpg

This one is on the main gear:

//HuZZIB8.jpg

This one is again the main gear:

//5nZ1KXy.jpg

 

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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OK, more than a little scary. 

BTW, I cannot for the life of me remember where I heard that line "kick the tires and light the fires"!


Mario Di Lauro

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Those tires look OK to me. They're about the same as the tires on my truck.

So long as there is air in them their good to go! 😁

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Just a few scuffs.


NAX669.png

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I would say that all tires should be changed! Not because of the touchdown markings, but because of the no longer existing groove depth! So far i know all grooves must have a certain depth! If only one groove is out of the depth limits then the tire must be change!

But maybe the limits have changed in the meantime! It has been a long time since I had to do with it!

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8 minutes ago, Andiroto said:

I would say that all tires should be changed! Not because of the touchdown markings, but because of the no longer existing groove depth! So far i know all grooves must have a certain depth! If only one groove is out of the depth limits then the tire must be change!

But maybe the limits have changed in the meantime! It has been a long time since I had to do with it!

I would agree with you, which is in fact why I always flag this kind of thing up with the crew and take a snap of it on my phone as a matter of course when doing a walkaround. If nothing else it proves that I spotted it and mentioned it. The usual response from the crews is something along the lines of: 'we saw it when we did a walkaround at Amsterdam' or 'an engineer has seen it and said it was okay', but I would feel terrible if something happened and I'd not mentioned it, so I always do mention it.

Personally, I think you can't be too careful in aviation and if it was me flying the thing, I'd want those tires changed despite having been assured by others that it is apparently okay. It may be true that it is okay, but it's not as okay as a new tire with no bald patches!

Edited by Chock
  • Like 1

Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Many aircraft tires are built with an “indicator ply”. This is fabric cord which is not part of the structural support cords, and has additional rubber underneath. In many cases it is permissible to fly with the indicator ply exposed in some areas. The aircraft maintenance manual will usually have photos or illustrations of typical wear patterns, with permissible (and impermissible) wear shown. The exact amount allowed depends on the specific make and model of tire and aircraft. The photos all appear to show indicator ply.

If any structural cord is exposed, it requires a tire change. Likewise for any cuts that extend all the way to the structural cord layer. 

It is also often permissible for portions of the rain grooves to be worn flat on at least part of the tire’s circumference, but not the entire circumference.

All the tires in Chock’s photos are getting a bit long in the tooth. Airlines will typically schedule tire changes for overnight stops after the day’s flying is complete, and usually try to arrange tire swaps at main hub airports with good maintenance support, rather than at an out station.

Although the main tires take the brunt of impact forces and frictional heating on each landing, the nose tires often wear out more quickly because of the scrubbing action on the rubber from nose wheel steering.

Edited by JRBarrett
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Jim Barrett

Licensed Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic, Avionics, Electrical & Air Data Systems Specialist. Qualified on: Falcon 900, CRJ-200, Dornier 328-100, Hawker 850XP and 1000, Lear 35, 45, 55 and 60, Gulfstream IV and 550, Embraer 135, Beech Premiere and 400A, MD-80.

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We had a tire looking like that recently and maintenance said it needed to be changed. Since the airport is no hub or anything like that for the airline, a tire had to be brought in from 45 mins away by car. The delay was growing and the tire finally arrived ... guess what, wrong tire. So another, correct one had to be brought in. In the end, night curfew was enforced and the aircraft had to remain here for the night.

So in this case, it was considered serious enough to warrant a hefty delay to the next morning.

Edited by threegreen
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Niklas Graefe
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