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Thread: Tie down tail in or out?

  1. #1

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    Tie down tail in or out?

    Question for you northern guys.
    Looking to park my bird in front of my house on the ice this winter.
    My house sits facing north on a 3 mile lake.
    Am I better off noseing into the wind & fight the lift, or park tail into the wind & lock control feathers!
    What do you guys do? Reasons

  2. #2
    mvivion's Avatar
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    ALWAYS point the nose into the wind if at all possible. That's the direction the designer intended the wind to be coming from, thus the least likely to cause damage. If you have REALLY strong winds, you might try to figure out how to elevate the tail, but that's a pain, and risky. Better yet, park a LARGE vehicle in front of the plane if there's a REALLY big wind forecasted....

    MTV
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  3. #3
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    ALWAYS point the nose into the wind if at all possible. .
    MTV
    agree....

    mesh spoiler covers too...

  4. #4
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Aft struts are not designed for tail load winds...
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  5. #5
    articfox's Avatar
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    There is a good thread on this (Palmer wind i believe). But yes, nose into the wind. Tied down completely, Wingcovers with those cool spoilers and the stick tied back. And if you can sandbags....

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    5191H's Avatar
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    Pics I took of cubs caught facing South when the wind hit from the North in 2003 Lake Hood wind storm.

    Tie facing prevailing winds and suggest augering a 2nd tail tie down 180 degrees opposite from the first so if high winds predicted from different direction you can tie facing that way.

    notice cub in back ground faced into wind.
    Notice cub in back ground facing into wind.

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    14 fan

  7. #7
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by articfox View Post
    There is a good thread on this (Palmer wind i believe). .
    here:
    http://www.supercub.org/forum/showth...l=1#post449158

    add the atlee tiedowns!!!!!

  8. #8
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    WindOnHisNose



    Randy

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    Thank you...question answered

  10. #10
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Not so fast...at first glance this question seems to be fully answered, but..

    ...no one mentioned the positives of an a/c tied at 90 degrees to the wind.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by articfox View Post
    There is a good thread on this (Palmer wind i believe). But yes, nose into the wind. Tied down completely, Wingcovers with those cool spoilers and the stick tied back. And if you can sandbags....
    I spent a year in Lake Iliamna one week back in the spring of 1998.

    The wind was fairly calm (steady at 15-20 Knots) when I landed in my C-180. I topped off the tanks (90 gallons), taxied over to the ramp and found an empty spot but only one rope as the grader had cut the other one while plowing snow. So, I used a ratchet strap on the other wing, chocked both tires, set the parking brake and put on mesh spoiler wing covers. Now these ropes were big and I had a difficult time getting them through the Cessna tie-down rings on the 180. I also could not find a tail tie-down. When I asked Tim LaPorte, the owner of Iliamna Air Taxi about tying the tail down, he told me they don't tie the tails down as the idea is that the plane should fly in the tie-down whenever they had strong winds. I then asked Tim what happens when the wind blows from the other direction and learned that everyone simply turns their airplanes around to face into the wind. He also suggested I use a second rope instead of the ratchet strap which I thoughtfuly declined as I felt it was plenty secure... wrong!

    In the course of the week the wind picked up and soon was blowing a steady 40-50 Knots, with higher gusts, so I took Tim's advice and replaced the strap with another 3/4" rope. At the peak of this storm the wind blew so hard on the chimney of the building I was staying in that flue gas from the furnace was blown down into the building all night long and the wind gusts sounded like a freight train running through the building. I felt sick the next morning from being gassed plus worrying about wind damage to the airplane. Driving out to the ramp early that morning I found the plane had indeed flown as both tires were now behind the chocks and both wing ropes were tight as guitar strings.

    Iliamna is a special case like Cold Bay, Deering, Ketchikan, Juneau, Naknek, Wales, Shishmaref, Kotzebue, Valdez, Nome, Barrow, etc.. In every case possible I would always face into the wind and in extreme winds let the tails fly on airplanes having conventional gear. The angle-of-attack on a parked tail-dragger with the tail tied down allows the full force of a strong wind gust to over-stress the structure to where damage may occur to wing spars and even twist the horizontal stabilizer - in extreme cases. Not so with airplanes having training wheels on the nose as their aoa is in a more level position with relation to prevailing winds.

  12. #12
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Calkins View Post
    Not so fast...at first glance this question seems to be fully answered, but..

    ...no one mentioned the positives of an a/c tied at 90 degrees to the wind.
    Dave,

    That MAY work, but not in REALLY high winds, in my experience. As I noted earlier, the airplane is designed to face into the wind--stability. Parking it sideways to the wind, you have the airplane trying to weathervane, due to aft fuselage area and vertical fin. Most of these airplanes also exhibit dihedral, so the outboard tip of the wing is actually at least slightly higher than the wing root. So, a big wind blowing from the tip to the root is going to create some significant lift.

    Assuming you have the airplane WELL secured, and the wind isn't massive, that approach will work. By well secured, I mean good solid rope tiedowns (NO CHAINS!!) good and snug, and as energytech noted, the good news about good strong rope is that it gives just a little bit. A little give is a good thing. Lots of give...not so much.

    I have tied down in places with pretty big winds where I didn't have a choice--I had to park with a wing into the wind, and it does work, but sure wouldn't be my first choice.

    Finally, the best thing you can do if you have a plane tied down out doors and the wind is blowing is to get out of the sack, go to the airport, and TEND the airplane....all night if need be. I have spent so many nights baby sitting airplanes I can't even count them. Lines get a little loose, if you're there, you can tighten them. Need another line? Add one if you're right there.

    And, again, if you have access to something mobile and large that can break up the wind, like a dump truck, loader, etc, park it in front of the plane to break up the wind.

    In Cold Bay during a big blow, we'd have airplanes parked all over town, secured behind buildings, etc. There and in Kodiak, we residents parked planes in the old WW II fighter revetments (earthen berms in a U shape) with good tiedowns. Those REALLY were a gift that kept on giving.

    MTV
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  13. #13
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Good thread.

    I use 3" webbing, ratcheting straps for securing my C210, and thought this is a good medium to use for the tie down. Energytech, why wouldn't that be as good a rope?

    I followed Stewart Barnes suggestion and bought some good climbing rope for my super cub, and really like that.

    Randy

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    Good thread.

    I use 3" webbing, ratcheting straps for securing my C210, and thought this is a good medium to use for the tie down. Energytech, why wouldn't that be as good a rope?

    I followed Stewart Barnes suggestion and bought some good climbing rope for my super cub, and really like that.

    Randy

    I didn't have 3" straps, just the smaller HD 1,000 lb ratchet units. I still have them plus two 1/2" Goldline ropes and smallish shackles that fit the rings, but in most situations they work well, especially straps and rope together. 3" straps are heavy and take up a lot of space though I'm sure they'd work if your tie-down rings are big enough to get the hooks through. You'd have to be careful to not "over-tighten" the large ratchets though.

    Be careful of climbing rope. There is no "cheap" climbing rope, only foreign knock-offs that have a soft stringy center surrounded by a braided outer cover. Looks nice but I have had them break when used as tie-downs. Buy only real climbing rope from a mountainering store and you'll see the difference, in price and quality! Wallmart and Home Depot have never carried the real thing. Goldline is used by power linemen who depend on it for their livelihoods and lives. It's stiff and quite hard to work with until used enough to soften up some - but it's always strong, doesn't stretch too much and doesn't break easily. I use it on both boats and airplanes.

    I lived in Cold Bay and worked for Reeve in 1966-67 and we had the steadiest high speed laminar winds of anyplace I've been. Iliamna has laminar winds too usually, but not as regular as Cold Bay and Wales may be a contender too. Leaving the tail untied is only useful providing your nose is into the wind without side loading. This is important for reasons others have commented on already... torqueing the frame, side loading the tail, etc.


    Parking the big truck/object upwind as MTV suggests is great if you have access. I used this once when I was caught in Valdez where the parking is perpendicular to the runway (bad ramp design). Had two high cube one ton trucks parked in a Vee about 20' upwind which kept it from twisting the airplane around in the tie-downs. Unfortunately, I had stupidly put on my standard wing covers that fastened with bungees and S hooks. The wind billowing the covers raked the S hooks up and down my newly installed and painted Sportsman cuff. Really p#$$ed me off.

    Oh yeah, babysitting until the wind speed drops is good as long as you don't have to witness the accident as it happens. Staying awake and warm if you're in the bush or rural community is a problem. At a real airport, sitting in your pickup is fine if you have a tank full of gas and a working heater. Making frequent checks is not an option, however, if you don't have a place to stay warm and awake on-site.
    Phil

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    Opps, what I meant in my last sentance is that making frequent checks is not an option - because it's mandatory. Could have said it's the "only option" too.

    Also Randy, you have lots of room in your 210 and 3" straps should work fine as long as the ratchets don't beat things up in turbulence. Did you cut the tails down so they won't beat the wings up in the wind? Also, Cubs are much more restricted in allowable space and weight.

  16. #16
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Thanks, Phil...Stewart warned me to buy quality climbing rope, which I promptly did at our local REI store.

    I like the quality climbing rope, as it doesn't take up the space that the 3" web/ratchet does.

    Randy

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    N5126H's Avatar
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    I would use caution parking downwind of things that have parts that can come off. I have seen lost of planes damaged by parts off of buildings and other planes. Once at Lake Hood a string of planes were tied to a very long cable provided by the state. The cable broke and the whole string of planes came loose, so watch what you tie to as well. Even if you just park a normal car in front of the plane to break up the wind it will help, but a 988 loader works best.

    Personally, I would never use a ratchet strap unless it was the only thing I had. The best (and proven time and time again) is 1/2 nylon rope. It is soft and flexible enough to make a strong and tight knot and stretches just right for a light aircraft.


    As for the use of mesh covers with or without spoilers, during a wind storm, I would remove them, and put them back on after the storm. If you are properly parked and tied down with gust locks spoilers are not going to help you keep the plane under control and why otherwise beat up your plane and covers.

    I also do not think “tying your stick back” is a good idea when in a wind storm. If anything you should trim the aircraft full nose down and gust lock the elevators neutral. That way when the wind lifts your tail the AOA is reduced. The idea of sticking the mains to the ground does not apply to the tail.

    I use 1X2 by about 4’ for serious gust locks on the tail and have a set of 8’ 2X4’s rigged up to tie along the rear struts when the going gets tough.

    I sure do like my hanger……

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    Experience has convinced me that mesh covers with spoilers work great in extreme winds... I've used them many, many times without negatives. They don't billow and rash like regular solid fabric types as there is nothing to hold the wind beneath them like a parachute. And the spoilers do a very credible job of disturbing air flow over the top of the wing, as designed. The ones I use have bungee loops that fasten into nylon hooks and the whole affair fits very tight to the wing profile making it very difficult for any wind to get under them.

    And N5126H, I believe you're right in setting trim for full nose down and though I've never done it yet, I will next time. I'm also not exactly sure how you are using the 8' 2x4s? Never have used them on my cub so I would like to know more about this. The mesh covers are certainly much easier to pack around than 8' 2x4s, but again, I'm uncertain how you place the 2x4s. I take it they are for strengthing the rear lift struts, right? Got any pictures?

    Hangar is on my wish list. 100 lb roof snow load would be nice too!

  19. #19
    N5126H's Avatar
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    Energy:

    I am sure the covers with spoilers cut the lift, just as you say. The 2X4 have a series of holes drilled every 10 inches full length with nylon cord threaded through. Just put the board on the rear strut and tie it in place. I have seen folks use duct tape, but I like cord. Sorry I do not have pictures. Boards are lost in the snow at this time.


    Bill

  20. #20
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N5126H View Post
    ...The 2X4 have a series of holes drilled every 10 inches full length with nylon cord threaded through. Just put the board on the rear strut and tie it in place. I have seen folks use duct tape, but I like cord. Sorry I do not have pictures. Boards are lost in the snow at this time.


    Bill
    i am amazed when I see people bother to put the 2x4 on rear strut, then ONLY tie them at bottom, top, and jury strut..... it prevents nothing secured like that!

    he is a member here, hope he reads it and get the hint.... hope he will do like n5126H describes next time.....

  21. #21
    N5126H's Avatar
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    WOW, Mike does your approval mean we are progressing in patching up our relationship? I sure hope so.
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  22. #22
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N5126H View Post
    WOW, Mike does your approval mean we are progressing in patching up our relationship? I sure hope so.
    maybe

    I try not to take things online personally....
    but it did take 3 or? beers to get my blood pressure down to a safe (for me) level last time......
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  23. #23
    N5126H's Avatar
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    Ok Mike, I will show up at your door with a six pack. What kind?
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  24. #24

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    Having just flown in/out of Talarik on a breezy yesterday, I was reminded of this thread. Good info herein.
    45-50mph gusts. No way was a small plane getting turned around for taxiing back or tie down anywhere but where touched down, though 125’ takeoff at 2,800lbs later in day was nice.
    Last edited by JohnnyR; 08-02-2021 at 12:25 PM.

  25. #25
    WhiskeyMike's Avatar
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    [B][QUOTE=mvivion[/B];523912]Dave,

    "Finally, the best thing you can do if you have a plane tied down out doors and the wind is blowing is to get out of the sack, go to the airport, and TEND the airplane....all night if need be. I have spent so many nights baby sitting airplanes I can't even count them."

    Yup! When I was a kid my father would dig holes to bury the wheels of our Stearman against strong winds. In severe cases he'd install wood straps on top of the wings (well lashed down) to break the lift. Afterwards we always had small ruts to line up and tie down in. -BTW Only works on sod.

    We never lost an airplane in a wind storm.
    .

  26. #26
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    There's a local pilot that installed wooden 2x4 tripods under each upper lift strut tie down ring. I guess it's to prevent downloads there. Not sure about the rear strut maybe it's a new HD model. He points into the normal prevailing winds but thunderstorms have been known to pop up.

    Gary

  27. #27
    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    Used to be lots of old tie downs down on peninsula from guiding operations, that had holes dug down in the form of a cross, so you could always park into the wind. So swing your prop sideways:
    Pull your Cub down into the holes,into the wind, that will get rid of all the AOA of the wings !
    We never tied tails Tite, let em fly up just passed level. With tires down in those holes, and some good rope; we rode out some 60/70kt blows. If all else fails just drive right into the alders as far as you can get!
    Prop will bore its own hole, bending alders over forward.
    Many a Cub saved this way, even huge winds defused thru acres of alders won't do much to a Cub buryed in them! Likely have to cut some to get out! Atlee told me once if I was down there and it got crazy, cut a hole down thru top of the wing fore and aft of front spar out about 30" passed
    The struts bolt on end of wing, then run 3/8 rope around the spar, that will eliminate the attachment brackets from spar to strut ;holding everything together! Those will twist and crack and many a Cub less flyer in Alaska can confess! His hurricane straps are the real answer!
    Old recipe's that still work.
    E
    Last edited by TurboBeaver; 08-06-2021 at 04:42 AM.
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  28. #28
    texmex's Avatar
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    No way was a small plane getting turned around for taxiing back or tie down anywhere but where touched down,
    Ha. Yep I know what you mean. I once landed our old Cub at Warrnambool (you'll have to Google that) across the 30m runway. (picked a spot where if I screwed it up I wouldn't be in a ditch) Laughing down final at Mick and Paddy.

    Mick: Geez Paddy, this runway is short.

    Paddy: Yeh, but look at how wide it is Mick.

  29. #29
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The Memphis newspaper printed pictures years ago of Stearmans at auxiliary fields outside of NAS Millington with their tires buried in preparation for a big storm.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  30. #30

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    I’ve watched my planes and those around them ride out all kinds of wind over the years and without question the least bad direction is quartering on the nose. Direct on the nose with a Cub that sits at a high AOA makes me nervous once winds get up around 30 mph. Especially with my current plane, which is ready to fly at gross weight at that speed. Defeating AOA is what I’d do first. Let the air out of the tires. Raise the tail. Not practical but when you have questionable ground anchors it’s what guys do. When you do have good ground anchors you’ll want good ropes and something upwind to disrupt the airflow. Parking 90° to the wind is hard on the rudder. I leave mine unlocked in that situation. I don’t think I’d want to be direct across once winds get up in the 50s or more. But I’ve never tried it. I watch lots of planes fail in the 2003 storm in Anchorage. My Cessna rode out 117 mph winds quartering from the tail while Cubs around it folded up while pointed the same way. That storm blew some Cubs apart that were pointed nose to the wind, too. The better an airplane is at STOL the more vulnerable it is to wind.
    Last edited by stewartb; 08-09-2021 at 08:49 AM.
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