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Thread: How to handle a Cub/Super Cub on the ground?

  1. #1
    Altmuehltaler's Avatar
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    How to handle a Cub/Super Cub on the ground?

    Hi everybody,

    my question might be a bit funny as it is very basic...

    A friend of mine owns a L-4 from 1944. He doesn't like his airplane being moved around the hangar or our grass airfield by pulling and pushing on the wing struts (original, thin struts).
    We handle our Pa-18-95 exactly this way. Pulling and pushing on the wing struts where the jury struts meet them. We have univair struts.
    I don't like people moving the airplane by pushing on the horizontal tail. I am mainly concerned about the jack screw of the trim machanism.

    Now I am wondering where to put my hands when moving the airplane by hand? Any recommendations out there?

    Thank you so much!
    Bjoern

  2. #2
    phdigger123's Avatar
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    I use a towbar on the tailwheel.
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  3. #3
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Tow bar and the factory handle n the ight side of the fuselage.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  4. #4
    Altmuehltaler's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    I will get a tow bar.

    But what to do if I am not at my home airfield? The handle on the fuselage is for sure strong but not very conviniently positioned. And I might not be able to take the tow bar always with me...

    Just to make it clear. The struts a no option to handle the aircraft? Correct?
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  5. #5
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    There are telescoping towbars but I use the struts quite often with no issues. I stick my fingers between the ailern cable and the strut.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  6. #6
    Altmuehltaler's Avatar
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    Steve, that's the way I do it, too.
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  7. #7
    Colorguns's Avatar
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    I've seen one shop push on the tail brace wires right at the vertical fin, didn't think that was the best way to move a bird around.

    Doug
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  8. #8
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Struts and tail are fine. Youíre not putting any more force than they normally get. I put upper handles on fuselage. Have seen people add handles in front part of stabilizer


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org
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  9. #9
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Saw these on a couple Cubs recently (same owner on both cubs).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I also eyeballed a Husky and it has (squared off) pull handles on the lower longerons (like a cub, only on both sides) and also on the horizontal stab leading edge (both sides).
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  10. #10
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    Saw these on a couple Cubs recently (same owner on both cubs).
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	horiz stab pull handle on cub.jpg 
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    I also eyeballed a Husky and it has (squared off) pull handles on the lower longerons (like a cub, only on both sides) and also on the horizontal stab leading edge (both sides).
    Yes, and the Husky now has an AD requiring an inspection for cracks/failure in the stabilizer attach point at the fuselage......probably not a good idea to use those stabilizer mounted handles.

    MTV
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  11. #11

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    My Arctic Tern came from the factory with 6 handles. Lower longeron both sides upper longeron both sides, and leading edge horizontal stabilizer both sides.
    Stan
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  12. #12
    JimParker256's Avatar
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    OK, while we're on this topic... Can anyone offer a rational explanation why "people say" that you should not use the prop to pull the plane? I get that you don't want to pull on the tips of the prop – that makes at least some sense. But if you're grasping right at the root of the blades, and pulling with 1 hP (human Power), how can that damage a prop that is designed to handle well over 100 HP (Horse Power) translated into thrust? I've always tried to abide by this advise, even though it has never made sense to me... Hopefully someone here can explain it, or clarify that this one of those "Old Wives' Tales"? Thanks!
    Jim Parker
    2007 Rans S-6ES
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimParker256 View Post
    OK, while we're on this topic... Can anyone offer a rational explanation why "people say" that you should not use the prop to pull the plane? I get that you don't want to pull on the tips of the prop Ė that makes at least some sense. But if you're grasping right at the root of the blades, and pulling with 1 hP (human Power), how can that damage a prop that is designed to handle well over 100 HP (Horse Power) translated into thrust? I've always tried to abide by this advise, even though it has never made sense to me... Hopefully someone here can explain it, or clarify that this one of those "Old Wives' Tales"? Thanks!
    Thought about that... since Iíve got drain bramage at times I donít do it. The only time I pull on the prop is during pre-flight check.. I push and pull to see if the thrust bearing clearance has changed.

  14. #14
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    I push on the upper part of the strut close to where it attaches to the wing. Seen bowed struts on skiplanes from being pushed around in deep snow

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  15. #15
    Grant's Avatar
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    It's pretty tough, IMO, to ruin much by pushing or pulling on structure. Just use common sense. Pulling pushing on the prop is discouraged by me ONLY because if the mag is not grounded, & the impulse should click and everything is just right, then it can be a real bad day. I was pulling the prop through on a J3 the other day with the mags off and it coughed. It scared me to death. I took the old switch out, replaced it with toggle switches and replaced the entire mag wiring circuit.

    I have been known to push on the upper tailwire brace at the upper fittings too, but only on a J3 and with small tires. Again - use common sense....

  16. #16
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    It's pretty tough, IMO, to ruin much by pushing or pulling on structure. Just use common sense. Pulling pushing on the prop is discouraged by me ONLY because if the mag is not grounded, & the impulse should click and everything is just right, then it can be a real bad day. I was pulling the prop through on a J3 the other day with the mags off and it coughed. It scared me to death. I took the old switch out, replaced it with toggle switches and replaced the entire mag wiring circuit.

    I have been known to push on the upper tailwire brace at the upper fittings too, but only on a J3 and with small tires. Again - use common sense....
    I had a 185 popover a few blades with mag switch off and mixture lean 30? Years ago... I was between it and hanger door. Had broken p-lead. I donít trust nothing anymore.


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  17. #17
    stewartb's Avatar
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    I push the button on the A3 tug.
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  18. #18
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Anyone touching my airplane gets informed that they only push or pull at the upper end of the wing strut. Perhaps the middle of the strut is stronger than I give it credit for, but one stubbed toe and all the weight is going straight down. I saw one severely kinked strut just from a guy getting his feet tangled up getting out and falling on the strut.

    Jim
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  19. #19
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    I expect since 1940 pilots, mechanics and ground crews have pushed and pulled cubs in every possible configuration. If itís not bending when I push on it then I expect itíll work. But then I donít push OPPís much without a tow bar or tug.

    That said, the fuselage handle has gotten too low for comfort as Iíve gotten older. My next build will have a 180-style retractable grab handle.


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  20. #20
    stewartb's Avatar
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    All I have for handles on my Cub is Cessna-style pull out tubes. I'd prefer normal loop handles and old man handles on the upper longeron. Make bigger handles for gloves. I push and pull sideways as much as foward-back and pull out tubes aren't much good for that so I end up grabbing the horizontal much of the time. No big deal but old man handles work better. And pull out handles are worthless for lifting the tail.
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  21. #21

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    Just checked in here - I guess I thought it was a joke thread.

    I stuck with the Maule on the J3s because I could use a longer bolt and get a C-150 towbar on it. The big Scott gets suitable ears on the fork to accept the same towbar. I now have API on the j3s, with axle modified for the same towbar.

    I will never move a Cub by the tail brace wires. I turn them with the lift strut where it joins the wing, for reasons explained by others here. And moving forward I pull on the prop very close to the hub. Never touch a prop unless you are prepared for it to start. Pushing on a tow bar can lead to accidents. Pulling can, too, but at least you won't be patching your rudder. And yellow is hard to match, so that place where your neck hits will always stand out. Darn it.
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  22. #22

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    Don't you love the jackweed that advises not pushing on the prop and then pushes on the spinner. Owww.
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  23. #23

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    I got my cub stuck today in some loose dirt after landing. Had a longer float that normal, which put me down the strip a bit more where ground is a bit looser/soft. Not nose over soft, but softer. When I attempted to taxi out onto the asphalt/runway she wouldn't make the inch climb to the asphalt from the loose got bogged down . I throttle up to about 2000 to no avail. Decided any further was a bad idea as I didn't want to suck anything up into the prop. Not sure if that was the right call. At this point I was making a real ass out of myself because I had effectively shut down the field- luckily it's a small field and no one was landing. The one guy in the run up area was my buddy so I just radio him and he came down and helped me get it pulled out.

    How does one advise extricating themselves from that situation such as that without using the struts or pulling the prop? We opted for struts (I can picture Bob Turner shaking his head in disapproval. Sorry Bob!) I'll have to check if we screwed anything up when I go back as I called it a day after that. In hindsight, hand rolling my 8.5 x 6's by hand may have been the best call.

    Obviously the best remedy is to not get yourself into that situation in the first place. Another day- another aviation lesson.

  24. #24
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I carry a small shovel and dig out in front of the tires. I have also tied a rope to the tail spring and pulled the tail to the side to get one tire free and then the other way to break the other tire free.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  25. #25
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  26. #26
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Let some air out of the tires for a bigger, more compliant footprint, remove weight if possible. Minimize using a brake to turn. Probably most folks here have experienced a similar event at one time or another - - -
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Misch View Post
    Let some air out of the tires for a bigger, more compliant footprint - - -
    Interesting- I would think airing down would make it harder to push- I guess it would spread the weight out more so so you could get it more on top of the dirt.

    I know you air down car tires to get more friction- but thats because they have power going to them so you get more friction when the power goes to them.

  28. #28
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Interesting- I would think airing down would make it harder to push- I guess it would spread the weight out more so so you could get it more on top of the dirt.
    Yes. Harder to push on a hard surface, but less tendency to dig into a soft surface.
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO

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    I approve of using struts at the wing fitting. I approve of pulling on the prop close to the crank (but be careful - these things can start when you least expect it). I am with Steve on the rope to the tailwheel.

    getting stuck and trying to blast out at full power is asking for a $50,000 repair bill. Some times you have to - but inexperienced pilots more often than not go over.

    The one place that freaks me out? Folks who move Cubs with tail brace wires. I really hate to see that.

    Try and avoid putting too much pressure on the stabs. Over.
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  30. #30

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    I see that Steve Pierce also carries along his team of mighty sled dogs, to help pull him out.

    Thanks. cubscout
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  31. #31
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    "she wouldn't make the inch climb to the asphalt from the loose got bogged down" Stop and never force anything. Pull/push the plane back some. Pile dirt next to the higher asphalt. Compact a small ramp and the dirt in front of the tires to allow gradual climb up on the paved area. Trying to lift the front of the plane up an inch with power is why we use 2x4 wheel chocks to keep them from wandering about in wind. Yes I've tried that jump up move before.

    Gary

  32. #32
    DJ's Avatar
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    I've got 35s stuck in a ditch. One wheel up at a time was the ticket. Takes a lot less power.

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
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  33. #33
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Fly skis. You learn how to get un-stuck!

    Dig out behind one wheel and push the tail the opposite way. When on top block the front of that wheel, dig a bit behind the other, and push the tail the other way. Use leverage. Pushing the side of the tail is the answer.
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  34. #34

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    Imagine how screwed you would have been in that 180 you were talking about. Trying to move one of those around on asphalt is hard enough!
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  35. #35
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by md11freighter View Post
    Imagine how screwed you would have been in that 180 you were talking about. Trying to move one of those around on asphalt is hard enough!
    Had 2 180s come out and play on the gravel bars, one on small tires and one on Bushwheels. Was not fun. Our bars are good for Cub type airplanes and not Cessna 180 friendly.
    Steve Pierce

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    I approve of using struts at the wing fitting. I approve of pulling on the prop close to the crank (but be careful - these things can start when you least expect it). I am with Steve on the rope to the tailwheel.
    Wing fitting= on wing
    Fuselage fitting is the other connection point?

    Why not push down low on strut near fuselage? Isnt it just a limit torque thing?

    Can you push on a prop or only pull?

    How does one use a rope on the tailwheel?

    Thanks.

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by md11freighter View Post
    Imagine how screwed you would have been in that 180 you were talking about.
    Thats the truth.

  38. #38
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Tie the rope around the tailspring.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  39. #39
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Getting stuck is the result of….
    Bad piloting
    Bad judgement
    Inappropriate equipment

    Experience teaches us not to repeat what got us stuck. Learning how to get unstuck isn’t a skill you want to master.

    If you want to be prepared? Add a Pack Mule and a couple of hundred feet of 3/16” Blue Steel synthetic rope. I fly a Skywagon on skis. Appropriate equipment helps when my judgement fails me. . http://www.deuer.com/index.php/pack-mule
    Last edited by stewartb; 09-08-2022 at 09:20 AM.
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  40. #40

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    Why not push down low on strut near fuselage? Isn't it just a limit torque thing?

    The reason you push a strut close to its attachment is that the strut is only good for tension, and will bend if you put radial force on it elsewhere. Sure, push at the fuselage if you want. Probably won't move anything.

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