Your thoughts on those temporary aircraft tie downs.....

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Nickathome, Aug 22, 2012.

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  1. Aug 22, 2012 #1

    Nickathome

    Nickathome

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    The yearly airshow at our airport is this weekend (Aug 25-26), and that means aircraft(mine included) that are parked on the tarmac, must be moved. The paved tarmac area is where the viewing public is allowed. I will be parking down the hill in a flat grassy/dirt area that's off limits to the public(saw people let their children climb on airplanes in the other field, hence why I park where I do). Anyway, I am going to use "The Claw" that I bought several years ago, for the first time. I bought these tiedowns for the off chance I fly to a grass strip and there are no tiedowns. So far I have never had to use them. Just wondering what your thoughts are on these and other types of temporary tiedowns. I've read good and bad about just about all of them, with most testimonials mentioning the tornado at Sun n Fun last year, and using that as the gauge for the success or failure of any tiedowns. I don't expect to have to withstand a tornado, but am curious to hear what you all think.
     
  2. Aug 22, 2012 #2

    skeeter_ca

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    At oshkosh this year i saw many different types of tie-downs. The ones that seem to hold the best had 3 yellow legs go outward about 12" from the center and had stakes driven in the ground pointing inward. Is that the one you have?

    skeeter
     
  3. Aug 22, 2012 #3

    autoreply

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    We used steel cables, connected to very deeply buried concrete-filled oil drums. Impractical for a temporary one obviously.
     
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  4. Aug 22, 2012 #4

    Nickathome

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    Yep, that's what I have...You'll see a youtube video(not the video in Autoreply's post above) that mentions them not holding anywhere near what they're rated at, and they break the leg off in the test. However that test was flawed. The man pulled on an angle. The instructions that come with the Claw clearly mention placing them directly under the tiedown loop for a vertical hookup....

    BTW - they also sell them piecemeal and are marketed that way as pet anchors.
     
  5. Aug 22, 2012 #5

    Dave Prizio

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    Of the different types I have seen used The Claw seems to work the best in the most different types of ground. For example, the screw-type anchors work well in he grass at Oshkosh but are pretty much worthless in hard, rocky ground. The Claw is on the heavy side, but they work just about anywhere. And when the wind blows hard they hold.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2012 #6

    Matt G.

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    The claw anchors also seemed inferior during the Sun'n'Fun tornado last year...I heard most of the aircraft that were tossed from their tiedowns used that type. So they may not be good in sandy soil, either.
     
  7. Aug 22, 2012 #7

    bmcj

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    I just tie mine down to a C-5 Galaxy or something of similar size or weight! :gig:

    Actually, if it's going to be windy (monsoonal), you can park a car on each side and tie down to the cars.

    I used to fly a J3 Cub up to El Mirage Dry Lake for play and airshow/fly-ins. The winds up there get pretty strong later in the day and there was nothing to tie down to, so I would lock the brakes, chock the wheels and strap the control stick straight forward. If the wind picked up enough, the tail would lift (high up) and the negative AOA would cause the wings to push down even harder on the wheels. It did a pretty good job of sticking it in place, but I still took the steady state tail in the air as a sign that it was time to go.
     
  8. Aug 22, 2012 #8

    wsimpso1

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    I don't see anybody leading the line off at an angle. I have been using the simple stake kind that drive in perpendicular to the angle the rope leads off to the airplane at. I would like to see how the laods they can handle.
     
  9. Aug 22, 2012 #9

    Toobuilder

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    You might also search for "homebuilt" tiedowns from the EAA. They have plans available, are simple to build, and seem to hold well.
     
  10. Aug 23, 2012 #10

    autoreply

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    We used to do the same thing with trailers. One wing under them (sailplanes), old tire on top and tie-down to the next trailer. Worked well in 50 kts gusts.

    That got me thinking. Why not use those bags they use to transport stones? About 50 cubic feet or so, so if you put one under each wing and fill them up, that's certainly plenty to keep it down in any storm?

    Putting "folded" tape over your whole leading edge (seriously) also helps a lot, you destroy most of the lift and you need almost twice the wind speeds to get the aircraft moving..
     
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  11. Aug 23, 2012 #11

    Nickathome

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    Earlier today I read a man's account of the Sun N Fun incidents, and he made a good point. He said from his observations of planes that were tossed about or pulled loose from their tiedowns that, "none of the various temporary tiedowns held 100% of the time, but none failed 100% of the time either"......
     
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  12. Aug 23, 2012 #12

    Dana

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    I've used the steel earth anchors I got from a contractor supply. It's a steel rod about 2' long with an eye on one end and a disk, about 3" diameter on the other. The disk is split and twisted so it screws itself into the ground. A bit bulky and heavy for traveling tiedowns, but strong enough for permanent use.

    -Dana

    Everybody who lives, dies, but not everybody who dies, has lived.
     
  13. Aug 23, 2012 #13

    Nickathome

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    They sell those at Tractor Supply. You can buy various lengths as well. Look like they'd be incredibly strong but yes definitely for a permanent setup and not for traveling....
     
  14. Aug 23, 2012 #14

    bmcj

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    I'd like to second this suggestion. Lift interruption can be simple and efficient, and it can reduce the load experienced by any of the temporary anchors.
     

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