Ask Captain Dan: Do Airplanes Use Snow Tires? Our Resident Pilot Answers Flight Questions.

Toronto ON – Pilot Dan Baz is answering your flying questions here on the Cornwall Free News.

If you have a question about flying you can email Captain Dan or post below.


Winter season is approaching and many people are having snow tires installed on their cars.  Do airplanes have to have snow tires as well ?Question asked by Shawn



Tire requirements for airplanes are different from those for cars, thus tires designed for airplanes are not the same as automotive tires. Airplane tires are not stressed by cornering forces like those in cars. Airplanes do not move through curves at high speeds, they move at high speed down a straight runway during take-off and landing only. Therefore airplane tires have straight longitudinal grooves around the tire circumference. These grooves channel water and slush from under the tire, to prevent aquaplaning.
Airplane tires are not required to produce traction like car tires. For take-off, propellers or jet engines produce forward thrust to push an airplane forward. An airplane simply rolls on its wheels and tires.  During landing, a lot of the braking forces for deceleration are generated by propellers or jet engines and only partially by brakes, so braking traction produced by normal tires is sufficient.
Pilots must compensate for standing water, slush, snow or ice on a runway, in the take-off and landing distance calculations, to ensure that the available runway distance is sufficient.  Therefore, airplanes do not need snow tires.

A bit more about Captain Dan:

Captain Dan Baz enrolled in Flight School at the age of 16.

He has completed studies in Aircraft Engineering and Master of Business Administration. He has been at the controls of many different types of aircraft, from single engine Cessnas to large intercontinental jets on global routes.

Over the last four decades he has flown thousands of hours up in the blue sky.

Have a question for the Captain ?  Send it to Captain Dan Baz Every week a question from the readers will be selected and answer posted in this column.

Best Western

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