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Thread: Skis on Cessna struts?

  1. #1

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    Skis on Cessna struts?

    Is there a way to carry touring skis as external load on a Cessna (in Alaska)?
    I know we can't lash them like on the supercub, but what about just strapping them alongside the single Cessna strut?
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  2. #2
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    why not internal? just remove rear baggage balkhead cover

  3. #3

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    We put skis in 185's every day. Remove the rear seat back and bulkhead like you do when you maintain the battery.
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  4. #4

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    Make a split/hinged bulkhead door. Two quarter turn fasteners and the top half folds flat to the bottom half. Carry long stuff without any threat of the small stuff sliding back and fouling the cables.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by stewartb; 03-23-2018 at 10:00 PM.
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  5. #5
    mvivion's Avatar
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    I have carried quite a few external loads, but I would NOT strap skis to the lift struts on a Cessna. You might be unpleasantly surprised at how much drag they’d produce.

    Good ideas above. Do what they suggest.

    MTV

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    Mount Cook Skiplanes in New Zealand has/had ski racks under the wings, two pairs per side I believe. Might want to check with them or the company that flies four mountain bikes externally on a 185. I am thinking I read the bike racks started life as ski racks. Then again, it is New Zealand and I have never seen them used elsewhere.

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudentPilot479 View Post
    Mount Cook Skiplanes in New Zealand has/had ski racks under the wings, two pairs per side I believe. Might want to check with them or the company that flies four mountain bikes externally on a 185. I am thinking I read the bike racks started life as ski racks. Then again, it is New Zealand and I have never seen them used elsewhere.
    Skis mounted fore and aft to the wing would likely work fine. I thought what he was describing was mounting the skis parallel to the struts.....

    MTV
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  8. #8
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Skis mounted fore and aft to the wing would likely work fine. I thought what he was describing was mounting the skis parallel to the struts.....

    MTV
    Just keep in mind that there will need to be two locations to secure the skis. If there is only one, there is an almost certain possibility that the skis would thrash around and perhaps damaging the airplane.
    N1PA

  9. #9
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudentPilot479 View Post
    Mount Cook Skiplanes in New Zealand has/had ski racks under the wings, two pairs per side I believe. Might want to check with them or the company that flies four mountain bikes externally on a 185. I am thinking I read the bike racks started life as ski racks. Then again, it is New Zealand and I have never seen them used elsewhere.


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Skis mounted fore and aft to the wing would likely work fine. I thought what he was describing was mounting the skis parallel to the struts.....

    MTV
    I was not disagreeing about mounting them to the strut, going all the way back to the original question where it was asked if there was a way to carry skis externally. I have no idea how the ski rack was approved in NZ, or how the FAA would view an NZ STC if that was the route taken, just suggesting that would be an easy solution if the FAA would accept it.

    I found a photo (but cannot post the URL) of the 185 that flies mountain bikes and it appears to be bike racks mounted to wing pylons (one per wing in this photo, two per wing on the only photo I saw with bikes installed), not the same as the ski-carrying 185 above. Maybe making use of the pylons used to mount rockets when some 185s were used in SE Asia? There appears to be a cable from the wing to the bike rack, I wonder if it is to jettison the load?
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  11. #11
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    The FAA approval would take engineering analysis by those that have likely never been challenged to do it. Not a fault just reality. In the meantime put whatever inside the fuselage. And then ask about designing and approving a belly mounted rack to carry external loads like Cubs have...or install an approved belly pod and open the rear of same for long items.

    Gary

  12. #12
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    A friend of a friend used to haul 5 or 6 ft christmas trees on the struts, butt-end forward, one under each wing, tied to the struts and jury struts. Thinking it was probably a -12. My understanding was that it was no problem and the plane felt normal given conservative control imputs. That individual would return to JNU after dark to minimize the likelihood of inconvenient discussions with regulators.
    Last edited by Gordon Misch; 03-25-2018 at 02:09 AM.
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  13. #13

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    The mt Cook group used 185,s to take skiers up on the glaciers for years as a commercial operation , the racks would have been fully engineered and stc’d by our caa I wouldn’t think it would be too hard to get approved- but I could be wrong. If you want to see a real external load there is a photo somewhere on the net of a 180 dropping hay bales to stock stranded in snow after a bad storm in nz- I can find it but not sure how to post it up.not so sure that one was an approved mod. I think it was a combination of the ski rack structure and farmers ingenuity.

  14. #14

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    Thanks for all the input!
    The skis are 6' long and without extended baggage, with two guys up front, there just isn't any room to stick them inside. I didn't think it was OK to just undo the upper part of the bulkhead divider and let them stick through like stewartb suggested. I'll give that a try.

    Just a curiosity question on the NZ under wing racks, do the skis just hang under the aileron, or do they stick out in front of the leading edge by a couple of feet?
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Misch View Post
    A friend of a friend used to haul 5 or 6 ft christmas trees on the struts, butt-end forward, one under each wing, tied to the struts and jury struts. Thinking it was probably a -12. My understanding was that it was no problem and the plane felt normal given conservative control imputs. That individual would return to JNU after dark to minimize the likelihood of inconvenient discussions with regulators.
    I have to ask, though, why would he be hauling Christmas trees to Juneau? Not like there is a shortage of them here.

  16. #16
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Misch View Post
    A friend of a friend used to haul 5 or 6 ft christmas trees on the struts, butt-end forward, one under each wing, tied to the struts and jury struts. ..
    I remember someone in Naknek tree that pointy end forward.... he thought he was gonna die when the branches unfolded big!

  17. #17
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKClimber View Post
    I have to ask, though, why would he be hauling Christmas trees to Juneau? Not like there is a shortage of them here.
    Really nice pines along the runway at Gustavus. A lot prettier than the local spruce and hemlock. Or so I've been given to understand - -
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  18. #18

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  19. #19

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    Slightly off topic but still about external loads: In about 1977 two fellows thought it would be a good idea if one of them hung on to the strut of a Cessna ag truck and the other flew a circuit. They did and made it around but the pilot said it was the most dangerous flight he had ever done. This took place north of Havre Mont. in Saskatchewan. Near the small town of Frontier. Never heard of it happening before or since.

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