Since the introduction
of our RTO procedures, we have had only one related incident. This
incident, however, proves the point of the procedure.
A DC-9 was departing
Portland International Airport on runway 10L. Conditions included
a crosswind, wet runway, and the airplane at balanced-field maximum
weight. Near 100 kt during the takeoff roll, the captain felt something
strange occur in the nose area. Because he was not sure if a tire
had blown or failed in another manner, he elected to continue takeoff.
A noise similar to a deflated tire thump was heard as the airplane
accelerated. The takeoff continued uneventfully, however, and the
airplane diverted to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. After
landing, it was discovered that the left nose tire had come apart
This incident could have
had other consequences had the captain attempted an RTO from high
speed. Given the conditions of the runway, and the fact that the
tire was deflated, the airplane could have been very difficult to
stop on the available runway.