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Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II losing a wheel

A PA28 loost a wing and now a PA28 lost a wheel. Never flown a PA28 but I have to admit I wonder if this is just bad maintenance or something else. I will probably have to get in a PA28 this Sunday and I’m getting skeptic about this.


Great job by the solo student pilot landing the A/C.

^ESM[ES]$, Sweden

Isolated incidents. I think there has been about 35,000 of the PA28 family built and it is one of (probably the most) common and safest trainers in the world, getting a hammering day after day.

ps Happens to airliners as well!

Now retired from forums best wishes

I agree, many hundreds of hours in these and they really are one of the few true GA workhorses. This means that most, if not all of the problems, have been seen and addressed, not least almost certainly because there will be another aircraft with a great deal more hours on the clock than the one you are flying. If I had to get into an aircraft without knowing its history then this is one I would be the most happy with.

If you do a sloppy job of maintenance, no plane will stay whole indefinitely.
One of our club’s PA-28 has logged 12,266 h and 41,764 landings, and it’s not losing any parts, wings, wheels or otherwise.

ESMK, Sweden

I’ve not lost a wheel yet, but I did have a brake disk sheer off while lining up. Fairly spectacular yaw, which would have been inconvenient during a roll-out. (I know, real pilots don’t touch the brakes, etc.) . The cause was corrosion where the disk is welded 90 deg to a top-hat carrier. It would be hard to spot on pre-flight or even annual without removing whole assembly.

These incidents remind me of my Father’s old pre-war cars when I was growing up. The major issue with losing a wheel back then was having to find it again afterwards, and at least one never was. Our aeroplanes truly are from the 1930’s in this respect!

EGBW / KPRC, United Kingdom

I once added air to a tire on a tail wheel plane, then went to the bathroom (can’t be too careful there!) and returning to the plane was distracted in conversation with a friend. Fifteen minutes later I returned to jump aboard and the tire was flat, the valve stuck slightly open. Scary stuff, thinking about that when landing a taildragger. Lesson learned: assuming the plane is flown regularly, top up the tires after a flight, not before.

I guess that many instructors, including myself, are suprised that this is not happening more often since these airplanes go through A LOT of shitty landings. I am often amazed at how solid they are. ;)


Timothy wrote:

You’d be surprised at the number of people who declare urgency or distress and go straight back, without any real thought of options.

Within reason I would be of the school of going straight back. I think I know exactly what you mean and there are a lot of problems that can be worked through and they always should. However, I also think there are times having worked though the problem, being on the ground is very attractive. For example, you can do so much to diagnose a rough running engine, but if it continues to run roughly I would rather the engineers take a look than hope it keeps running.

I suspect a lot of events where somebody broke something off a PA28 don’t get posted on forums especially with a video

Schools in particular do not like these to be openly discussed. Even within the school the staff are encouraged to use the term “gone tech” when somebody broke a plane which cannot be used for lessons. I saw this all the time when I was doing my PPL.

The bigger lesson here is probably that one should not rush to make decisions, all the time one has fuel. I know someone who totalled a PA28, which had an apparent gear problem, and the pilot just landed it right away, and found the gear was indeed up… There were IIRC four POB, mostly PPLs, yet i still happened. One guy killed himself by crashing a TB10 whose luggage door was open. These things happen all the time.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Flying with wheel spats/pants, a flat tyre on landing is a possibility, with the wheel jamming.
A number of light aircraft at Inverness suffered punctures a few years ago due to the magnetic wire pick-up machine missing a spot used only by light aircraft, after the wire brush machine had done a winter clearing run.
Fortunately none had a slow deflation after take-off. We weren’t affected.
There’s a video of an RV in Australia smashing it’s lightly-built spat on go-around with a flat tire. The Jodel spats are more solid, as are the Piper and Cessna ones.
And no preflight or pre-land check could detect it.

EGPE, United Kingdom
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