Tired Passengers Confronted with Tyre Change

May 27, 2011

in Airplane Stories

This occurrence happened in 2005 when I was 15 and going on a round-the-world trip with my dad. We had landed at Heathrow after a 14 hour flight from Tokyo and had to change planes to fly to Paris.

So we get onto a small BA Airbus without much trouble. Then as we are about to leave comes the captain’s voice: “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, it’s your captain Gary here. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d love to be flying you all to Paris now but we have a bald tyre. So we are going to have to change the tyre. Please sit tight.”

Okay, I thought, change the tyre, we’ll be on our way. Captain Gary speaks again. “Right ladies and gentlemen, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news: we changed the tyre. The bad news: we got the jack stuck in the tyre. So we are going to have to lift the plane up, jiggle it around and get the jack out. Now you may feel a sudden shaking but don’t be alarmed.”

This was happening while we were all on the plane. Gary comes out of the cockpit and starts talking to my dad, “Well you’re nice and comfortable aren’t you?”

My dad replies, “On the contrary Gary, we’ve just flown 14 hours from Tokyo and are extremely jet lagged.”

So after waiting about 2 hours on the plane, we finally leave the gate and get in line to take off – behind about 5 other planes. Throughout this time I was incredibly tired and jet lagged, and wondering why didn’t they check the tyres beforehand???

P.S. After Paris we flew back to London and we were just about on the runway when the pilot announces that there has been a mechanical problem and we will have to taxi back to the gate.

Two delays in a row.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron May 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I was on the last leg of a trip home and boarded my flight on time at Detroit Metro. Only after we were all on the plane did the pilot announce the front tie was flat and we needed to deplane so they could change it. Apparently tire (or tyre) pressure is not a high priority on the ol' safety check.


Bort May 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Tire Pressure is monitored by the onboard computer. PAX board the plane while pre-flight checks are still underway to decrease turn around time. In your case Aaron, the pax boarded prior to that particular point in pre-flight diagnosis of the plane. Clearly, tire pressure IS a high priority item as you were made to alight the aircraft so they could tend to that issue.


Mimi November 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I was on a flight back to Kuala Lumpur from Vietnam. When we were settling down in the plane before take off, I heard the captain said "we are changing our tyre" DO YOU HAVE TO TELL US THAT. (my reaction)


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