Page 28 - Nov/Dec 18 MMOPA
P. 28

Who Needs a
 Tailwheel Endorsement?
  by Steve Bobko-Hillenaar, MMOPA Member & M350 Owner
It was a normal day, with a normal flight as Joanna and I were repositioning back to our home airport after an Angel Flight
we completed earlier in the day. The weather wasn’t bad, however
we elected to land on runway 13 to comply with our noise abatement procedures. We had a slight tailwind, maybe 6 or 7 knots and had done
it plenty of times before. Thus, we didn’t give it a second thought.
As we touched down, all seemed fine until the airplane started to pull to the right. Being on the rudder pedals, I commanded the airplane to the left and stay on the runway. As
I was heading down the runway, the airplane pulled harder to the right. I said to Joanna, “What is going on?”
At that moment, I realized I had a flat tire.
Continuing down the runway
as I let the speed bleed off, the airplane kept yawing to the right. However, now recognizing what was happening, I just let the airplane
coast to a convenient place to turn off and not be stuck on the runway. Having already run on the tire
and wheel for half the runway, any damage that was done to the wheel was already done.
As this was all unfolding, the worst scenarios flashed through my mind. How many lights would I take out as I ventured off the runway. Would I have a gear collapse? Would there be a prop strike? I hate to think of what the potential damage could have been to my new M350.
But it didn’t happen and I felt incredibly lucky. I kept the airplane on the runway, I commanded the airplane where I wanted it to go and I did not have any major damage. Just a flat tire.
What happened? I knew the
tires were getting ready for replacement, and new ones were on their way. Sharing this story with Clay Hammond of Columbia Aircraft Sales, whom helped me into this airplane, he said he had a similar

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