Real Answers from Real Pilots

Fire in the tires

In a RTO, is t jis still considered a success? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nA7B-JWt3M&t=135s 2nd clip with the aborted 777 takeoff.

The plane is intact and can be flown again. I’d say it’s a success. ARFF is laying down fire suppressant and cooling the brakes, and the tires just blow plugs to release pressure. Primarily so that in a case that the brakes do catch on fire, the tires don’t grenade and cause more damage.

Daniel,

When a plane weighing 500,000lbs + does a high speed abort and decelerates from say 140kts to 0 in a few thousand feet you are going to generate some heat. As Sergey said the tires are designed to blow and can be replaced. Nice job from the crew. Trust me it ain’t easy.

Adam

Also would they evacuate the plane right there via slides, or tow the plane to the gate?

Depends on the nature of the emergency. If the tires deflate like that, ATC would call for a ground stop and roll ARFF, and it’ll be up to the captain to decide on the safest course of action for his passengers. Evacuations via slides are not ideal as there’s still a risk of injury. If the ARFF QRV rolls up and they see no fire and the cause of the RTO wasn’t anything catastrophic, I believe airport ops would roll buses and mobile stairs to disembark the pax and unload the cargo. Then, they’d use a special dolly to go under the aircraft gears and clear the runway.

If the tires don’t blow and it was a less dramatic RTO, the aircraft will most likely have to vacate the runway and hold until the brakes cool off sufficiently before attempting to go again. That is of course if the cause of the RTO wasn’t anything having to do with the aircraft being safe to fly (e.g runway incursion).

My “airport guy” not “airline pilot” knowledge… Adam and Chris may correct me based on their ops experience.

Watch this 340-600 brake test. A lot more exciting! I think the firefighters need new pants: https://youtu.be/lUMuOyMTQ8Y

If the tires blow air stair evacuation. The brakes catch fire you’re evacuating via slides (fires and planes don’t work well together). If neither they’ll hook up a tug and tow you to the gate. Don’t want to taxi and further heat up the brakes.

Adam

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