Flat tire tears up Piper

Aircraft: Piper Tri-Pacer. Injuries: None. Location: Norwich, N.Y. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: During the landing roll the airplane pulled to the left. The pilot applied right rudder to correct and the airplane ground looped, which resulted in substantial damage to the left wing.

The post-accident examination revealed that the left tire was deflated. Fragments of the tire and skid marks were found on the runway. The cause of the deflated tire could not be determined.

Probable cause: The pilot’s inability to maintain directional control during a landing with a deflated left main landing gear tire.

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA350

This May 2012 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. Tom says

    “…cause of the deflated tire could not be determined”??????? How about there wasn’t any air in it. It sounds like to me that if the cause could not be determined then there wasn’t any visible cause to conclude that there was anything other than low pressure because they obviously didn’t find any punctures in the tire or damage or excessive wear or bent or broken wheel parts, etc. etc. Why didn’t they just say that because no cause for the deflated tire was present then it could be concluded that the probable cause was failure to maintain the tire with proper pressure as designated by the manufacture? Then this would then help readers of these types of reports to revaluate their own preflight techniques rather than just saying “cause not determinable”. Is anybody out there????

  2. RudyH says

    Albeit the ‘Pacer’ was referred to a a ‘paper weight’ by the late Don Kershner after he too a spin in it with Piper Sr., this aviator was wise to keep well under ‘gross’, as in no more than one pax….him! Time for a new bird!

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