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Thread: Dealing with a Flat Tire in the Backcountry

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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Dealing with a Flat Tire in the Backcountry

    I have a good friend who just had a tire punctured significantly on a backcountry strip. It was a big hole, and with the help of friends he was able to fly the plane out.

    This brings up the question as to how to deal with this should it happen to me...

    I mentioned this to Roger Meggers and he told me that this happened to someone he knew and the pilot decided to slice the ruined tire along the side, use a couple of logs to lever up the gear and then to stuff items into the tire. While it wasn’t a pretty fix, it enabled the pilot to fly the aircraft out. It would take a lot of things to fill a Bushwheel, but it is a thought.

    Anyone else with suggestions? I know that the solution would depend on the size of the tire. An 8.50 is one thing, but a Bushwheel would be a whole different story.

    Randy
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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Dealing with a Flat Tire in the Backcountry

    Sleeping bags into tire


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

  3. #3

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    duct tape and a can of good expanding foam? some of the good foams are hard to cut with a utility knife after it sets up.
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  4. #4
    Penguin's Avatar
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    A friend of mine who was stuck on a river bed in northern Cali had a 31" bushwheel and 5 cans of compressed air dropped out the back door of a Cherokee 6. The bushwheel bounced and the bag of air cans were attached to a drogue chute.
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  5. #5
    cubflier's Avatar
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    A radial tire patch on the exterior of the tire is what I have used on an 1 1/2 in hole. I layered it for strength. These patches come in some insane large sizes as in 7 X 17 inch and all sizes in between. You have to have the glue and prep with you. The patch job I did outlasted the rest of the tire.

    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    Sleeping bags into tire


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

    or even stuffing grass or leaves if in a real pinch with nothing
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  7. #7
    courierguy's Avatar
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    I had a big gash in an 29" Airstreak, that exposed the cord but got me home. I glued a patch over it, using a standard auto type patch kit. But then it made a kalumph kalumph when taxing on pavement. Besides avoiding pavement as much as possible (less then 10 pavement landings in 100 hours is my best) the next time I applied some Herculiner, I feathered the patch in, like you do with a drywall patch. That did away with most of the kalumph, but then threw the tire out of balance a fair bit, hitting the brake after liftoff solved that. Since I fly with a bike, I always have a patch kit, a 52 VDC air compressor (the bike battery voltage) plus 2 or 3 of those little compressed air flasks.
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    this one would probably put enough air in a bushwheel or be used for your water life vest.https://www.bikeexchange.com/a/bike-...nt_id=65355806

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    Flexseal
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    I keep spares in the hangar, and dollies, and jacks . . . Still, it is a major undertaking at a paved controlled field. They send out a forklift, and you have to fight them off to save your aircraft. Sometimes the fire department comes!

    That is the biggest deal - the firehouse is at the end of the runway, so they come the long way around (usually six vehicles). Then they backtrack to a place near the firehouse, but on the other side of the gate. Then they have a strategy meeting. By then we have the aircraft the required 50 feet from the runway edge. The news truck usually beats the arrival of the fire boss. Great fun!

    Once I get the spare wheel and jack, it is 15 minutes, including the hubcap. Gad, I hate flat tires.
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    SJ's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Did your "friends" plane look like this when it was all said and done?

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  13. #13

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    Well on a fishing trip I went fishing and a little damn blacky visited my camp: ripped open my tent and tried my right tire. So I had a flat tire with two punctures. I was glad to have a tube of wonder glue. I carved two little woodplugges and glued them in. In Namibia/Africa on my car I had a punctured tire too. But here I used only a simple woodplug und pressed it into the hole. With that I drove 200mls without hassle. In Alaska it lasted till next day when I was back in FAI. I allways have a pump with me and tirerepair. Wonderglue gell is a very good adhesive to fix tires temporarely. You also can use woodsrews on very small punctures. May be with a bit silicon. Just use your brain.
    The wandering raven

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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
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    Did your "friends" plane look like this when it was all said and done?

    sj
    That photo looks surprisingly similar to the mental image that I had formed when the predicament was described to me! I believe the guys found a set of 6.00 tires to install. I think this pilot is now setting a new trend, perhaps. The “unbushwheel” might be the future for backcountry flying.



    Randy
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    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    That photo looks surprisingly similar to the mental image that I had formed when the predicament was described to me! I believe the guys found a set of 6.00 tires to install. I think this pilot is now setting a new trend, perhaps. The “unbushwheel” might be the future for backcountry flying.



    Randy
    Alan Kasemodel started the trend

    It does look really fast....

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
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    For smaller leaks/holes:
    A tire plug kit from local auto parts store works well for punctures.
    Combined with patches mentioned above. Both use the same glue.
    good Quality patches can be obtained from a tire repair shops. throw an extra piece of coarse sandpaper in your kit to abrade rubber for a good bond if patching. The little glue tubes with the plug kit are “one use” and dry out after opened. Best to have a couple in your kit
    Co2 cartridges don’t go very far, takes a bunch to fill a bush wheel.
    A small high volume/low pressure manual bike pump is light and dosnt take much space, takes awhile to inflate but reliable.
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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinJ View Post
    Flexseal
    Yeah! I can't wait to see the TV ad!
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    That photo looks surprisingly similar to the mental image that I had formed when the predicament was described to me! I believe the guys found a set of 6.00 tires to install. I think this pilot is now setting a new trend, perhaps. The “unbushwheel” might be the future for backcountry flying.



    Randy
    I bet it goes like hell with those little tires


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    courierguy's Avatar
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    One thing about patching bike tires that may or may not apply to a plane's tire: one time I had landed at Copper Basin, and then rode up to a high ridge line I had landed many times but never rode to. A rough back country road, with scattered rocks, and I developed a leak. No problem, I have a patch kit and a pump, but it was windy, too windy to hear it or feel it leaking, and I didn't have enough water or a container to immerse the tire to find the leak, so my patch kit was worthless! Now, I carry a patch kit plus a new tube, whenever I am riding remote, which I do quite often as of course the plane can easily access these places. I carry the co2 cartridges for the bike tires, and while it would take a few, maybe a whole lot of them, to a bush tire, 3 of them may help enough to launch.
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    txpacer's Avatar
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    Six 16 gram CO2 cartridges will take a 31 inch Bushwheel to five psi.

    Edited for your protection
    Last edited by txpacer; 06-25-2020 at 09:51 AM. Reason: Edited for your protection
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  21. #21
    courierguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txpacer View Post
    Six 25 gram CO2 cartridges will take a 31 inch Bushwheel to five psi.

    Someone did some math, better you then me....it's making my head hurt just guessing on the process on how you came up with the final 5 psi #, good stuff!

    That's more effective then I would have eyeballed estimated it, so my three cartridges I carry would have a noticeable effect on my 29" Airstreaks, is my takeaway. I can't give a final psi though!

    Just yesterday, my immersion tub in shop showed a puncture in my fat bike tire, in the side wall. I put another 8 oz.s of green tire slime in thru the valve stem after removing the valve, and then after reinflating it to it's usual 6 PSI, I positioned the tire sideways so the slime would hopefully migrate to the area where the puncture was. Then gave it a couple hours....and the leak was gone. Then I made a 10 mile ride on a rough trail, still no leak. My backup plan was to to try an external patch, but like bushwheels the fat tires sidewalls flex a lot. I use the same green slime in my Airstreaks so it was a good test of it's effectiveness.

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    txpacer's Avatar
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    No math. I had a tire going on and a box of cartridges. It seemed like an opportunity to learn something useful without spraining my brain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by txpacer View Post
    No math. I had a tire going on and a box of cartridges. It seemed like an opportunity to learn something useful without spraining my brain.

    ouch, at what im seeing, thats about 150 bucks. or are they cheaper than that.

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    For decades I have just squirt some superglue into punctures and cuts in tires. Started doing this when I was doing quite a bit or rock crawling and tire damage could be anywhere, tread, sidewalls, wherever. I have fixed a few tubes as well.
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process
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  25. #25
    txpacer's Avatar
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    Oops. Screwed up. 25g cartidges are for PFDs, I used 16g threaded ones and a mini inflator. Much cheaper. 12g cartidges would work, it'll just take one or two more.

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tiny Tires Furlong fixin' head for home this morning out of KVBT
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  27. #27
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Kinda like those guys in the big jacked up trucks just backwards?
    Steve Pierce

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    That's a good looking 180, small tires or not.
    I've always thought the 54 & 55 paint schemes were the most attractive.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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    FdxLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    Alan Kasemodel started the trend

    It does look really fast....

    sj
    It's not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FdxLou View Post
    It's not.
    I have a set of wheel pants from a 1966 185 if you want them. No brackets.
    N1PA
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    I haven't tried it on bushwheels yet, but one trick I learned rock crawling was to carry a heavy gauge needle and some mechanic's wire. When (not if, WHEN) we sliced a sidewall, we would stitch it up with the wire, then push plugs in between the stitches. Usually that was enough to seal "ok", sometimes we had to light the plugs on fire and mush them in a little better...

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    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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    Damn, Glenn where do I get a woman like that to help with plane. Does she change wheels to ski too. Chip

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    I keep spares in the hangar, and dollies, and jacks . . . Still, it is a major undertaking at a paved controlled field. They send out a forklift, and you have to fight them off to save your aircraft. Sometimes the fire department comes!

    That is the biggest deal - the firehouse is at the end of the runway, so they come the long way around (usually six vehicles). Then they backtrack to a place near the firehouse, but on the other side of the gate. Then they have a strategy meeting. By then we have the aircraft the required 50 feet from the runway edge. The news truck usually beats the arrival of the fire boss. Great fun!

    Once I get the spare wheel and jack, it is 15 minutes, including the hubcap. Gad, I hate flat tires.
    Dammit! I fell out of my chair! My wife ran in to see if I was having a stroke!
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur

  35. #35
    12Geezer2's Avatar
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    Coyote hunter's poor aim with 12 G. on big tires can be a real repair challenge

  36. #36
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    I stole the 12 VDC air compressor out of my Prius ( don't laugh, last fill-up was 58+ mpg) and bought a large patch kit from NAPA (BIG patches). 10 ounces, all up.

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