Fast taxi leads to fire

Aircraft: Cirrus SR22. Injuries: None. Location: Pittsburgh, Pa. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: According to the pilot, ATC instructed him to taxi from the FBO to the runway. After reaching the runway, he initiated the takeoff checklist. He increased the engine rpm per the checklist and the airplane moved forward slightly. He applied the brakes.

The right brake pedal lost pressure and the airplane started an un-commanded 180° turn to the left. The pilot shutdown the engine and noticed the right wheel was on fire.

Data retrieved from the aircraft’s multi-function display revealed that while taxiing, the engine power reached 1,100 to 1,900 rpm and the ground speed was 30 mph. The airplane’s Pilot Operating Handbook revealed that the maximum recommended continuous engine power for taxiing is 1,000 rpm.

The POH further cautioned that if the engine power is exceeded and proper braking procedures are not observed during taxi, wheel brake damage or fire could occur. Portions of the right brake assembly were either heavily fire damaged or destroyed. Examination of the left brake assembly revealed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction.

Probable cause: The pilot’s excessive engine rpm and speed during taxi and subsequent braking, which resulted in a wheel brake fire.

NTSB Identification: ERA11LA124

This January 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.


  1. Vaughn S. Price says

    This a classic, the pilot probably drives his car over 80 mph in a 55mph speed zone, Whats the hurry? basic common sense rule, you really don’t have to be any where. your speeding. and flying in bad weather will one day prove my point. You won’t get anywhere but the Morgue.

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