When the Rubber Meets the RWY

This tire on the left is about five weeks old.  The flat spot is probably due to improper foot placement on the rudder/brake pedals.  With the foot too high up on the pedal, it is very easy to unintentionally apply brakes when meaning to push the rudder pedal.  In a fraction of a second a flat spot appears and stays with that tire for its life…and with every future lumpy takeoff and landing.

Tires are expensive.  We all pay for them and we pay for them all.

This picture below and to the right shows the WRONG way to do it.  You can see that the pilot’s toe is touching the top of the rudder pedal – that’s the brake pedal.   With this foot placement, it’s almost impossible NOT to apply brakes when pushing the pedal.  In the air – no problem; brake pressure won’t do a thing.  But on the ground, you can lock ’em up in a heartbeat.

Instead, try it like this. This is the RIGHT way to do it. With the heel further back on the floor, the toe just touches the bottom of the pedal and it’s impossible to apply brake pressure.

With a stabilized approach, there are very few runways that will require aggressive braking. When you need the brakes, just slide your feet up so you can pivot forward with your toes.

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