Securing Plane For Hurricane...

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
So I am inland about 120 miles from where Ike is forecast to hit. My plane is tied down and hanger space is unavailable. Also, because I am going to be stuck evacuating AF planes, I am unable to reposition it. What I have done is filled the tanks, set the brakes and attached pretty good tie downs. Any suggestions (like releasing the brakes perhaps to reduce sideloads, maybe?). I am pretty sure it's not going anywhere (tentative forecast of about 60 MPH winds) but wanted to solicit ideas...:)
 

tgrayson

New Member
attached pretty good tie downs.
We had some straight-line winds come through a few years ago, which destroyed a handful of airplanes at our field. Thing is, the ropes held tight; it was the tie rings which either snapped, or pulled out of the asphalt.

Your winds probably won't be that strong, but you may consider some sort of lift killer on top of the wings and maybe the vertical stabilizer.
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
We had some straight-line winds come through a few years ago, which destroyed a handful of airplanes at our field. Thing is, the ropes held tight; it was the tie rings which either snapped, or pulled out of the asphalt.

Your winds probably won't be that strong, but you may consider some sort of lift killer on top of the wings and maybe the vertical stabilizer.
I didn't think about the tiedowns, but not much I can do about that. What would be used as a "lift killer"?
 

tgrayson

New Member
I didn't think about the tiedowns, but not much I can do about that. What would be used as a "lift killer"?
If you kill the lift, you probably don't need to worry about the tie downs, since there won't be as much force tugging on them.

Obviously anything that interrupts the airfoil shape will help. Sporty's sells some things, but you can probably make your own. Here's an example:

http://www.sportys.com/acb/showdetl.cfm?&did=19&product_id=11451
 

mjg407

Well-Known Member
We had winds here this winter that moved one of our tankers. (Storm of the century in Norcal). My little grumman made it through just fine. I used chain tie downs and chocks, no brakes.
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
Sounds pretty good then. Can you think of any reason to NOT set the brakes? Also, I got a pretty good "work around" on the lift spoiling device thanks to AOPA. There is some pretty cool stuff on there!
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
I had my Grumman in NC several years ago when we were facing a direct hit by a hurricane. (I can't remember the category of it anymore, but it was a big one.) Being only 50 miles inland I decided to put my airplane in my friends empty T-hangar. There was another AA-1 on the field, and when I went out to move mine I found out that he decided to leave his plane on the ramp. (I think he was the only one on the field to do so.) He had padded 2x4s lashed on top of the wings with nylon straps to act as lift spoilers. He placed a second set of tie-downs on it and let a little air out of the tires. I remember thinking how stupid he was while I taxied my bird to the shelter of my new-found hangar. Mistake #1.

Well, the storm hit us hard. It opened a door in the opposite side of my hangar, which let the wind in with enough force to blow my door open from the inside untill it came off the rails at the top and fell in on my plane. (The doors opened sideways, like an elevator's.) Fortunately, it just nicked the spinner and landed on the nose wheel tire. The force of it pushed my plane backwards hard enough to damage the elevator and crack a wing tip. My canopy cover then got loose with all the wind howling through the hangar and blew back and forth until it ruined the glass.

That same storm opened a door in the big maintenance hangar on the field. The pressure of the wind blew out part of the wall in the back, and then tried to force all ten planes inside the hangar out through that hole. Every plane in the hangar had seroius damage.

After the storm, the other AA-1 owner came out, pumped air in his tires and was airborne in no time.

When the insurance adjustor came to inspect my plane, he told me he'd never been to settle a claim for an airplane that was tied down. Every plane he'd seen that had been damaged in a hurricane had been in a hangar.

The NE corner of a hurricane is the worst. Face your plane into the wind for this quadrant (if you get hit by it).

Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
Thanks for the advice guys. I have seen many-a-plane wrecked in hangers, so leaving it outside isn't worrying me too much. I have the rope tie downs, the "fancy" 1500 lbs tie down straps (not AF straps before you ask :) ) and I have some material strapped to the top of the wings to help spoil the lift (the cool "bumpers" you use on stuff to keep your kid from whacking themselves). At this point, it's time for me to go and evacuate C-5s to *insert anyplace here* and let whatever happens, happen. I will let you know how it fares...worst case, I'll have an insurance claim.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
Hey, why don't you just *insert GA airplane* into C-5 before you go and evacuate C-5s to *insert anyplace here*

2 birds, 1 stone! :D
 

mjg407

Well-Known Member
Nihon, do you post on the grumman gang? And Galaxy, in the older Cheetahs you just don't set the brakes, cause they may not release again.
 

ctab5060X

Well-Known Member
Just remember to make sure the tie downs are tight. When Charley (Cat 4) hit Florida back in 2004, there were several airplanes that were destroyed, even though they were tied down properly. Seems that others had loose tie downs and the slack allowed the airplane to move and break the tie down ropes. Unfortunately, the ones that were tied down properly fell victim to loose airplanes going across the ramp.
 

mjg407

Well-Known Member
From my owners group:

For anything Cat 1 or above, if you can leave, then do so. Check with your insurance company since many of them will partially fund your trip.
For anything below a Cat 1, or if you can't leave, here are some steps to take:
Linn's suggestion to use rebar (I use 3/4 " galvanized pipe) pounded into the ground, to insure that the doors can't swing in or out is a good suggestion. If you have two sliding doors that meet in the middle, then drill horizontal holes where they meet and run a 1/2" bolt through the edges of the doors. Use doublers if the metal is thin.
Go through the hangar and remove or secure anything that could become airborne. You will have wind in the hangar.
Tie the airplane down to the hangar structure. This is especially important if you have more than one plane in the hangar, as I do.
If your hangar does not have floor-to-roof interior walls, work with your neighbors to ensure that their hangars are cleared of potential debris as well.
For those of you who are tied down outdoors, try to relocate your plane as far away from other planes as possible.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
Nihon, do you post on the grumman gang?
No, I don't post to the GG anymore. Unfortunately, when Uncle Sam invited me to live in Japan (Nihon Ni) I had to part company with my beloved Yankee. Sure do miss those checkers!
 

PA-44typed

Well-Known Member
Why not just get a local CFI to fly your plane away, spend a night or two and then fly it home. Total cost, a tank of gas and two nights hotel and some beer money for the CFI.
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
Thanks again for all the advice. Since Ike took that turn, the most wind we had around here was about 20 knots. So, dodged I dodged this one!!! Now as for the millions of dollars spend moving all the C-5s, well, that's another story!!! :panic:
 

Matt13C

Well-Known Member
Thanks again for all the advice. Since Ike took that turn, the most wind we had around here was about 20 knots. So, dodged I dodged this one!!! Now as for the millions of dollars spend moving all the C-5s, well, that's another story!!! :panic:
I guess it is better than the billions it would take to replace them.
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
Very, very true. Besides, it is always a lot of fun when you get 80+ crewdogs TDY in the same place!!! :)
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
Very, very true. Besides, it is always a lot of fun when you get 80+ crewdogs TDY in the same place!!! :)
Impressive operation, actually. I've never seen the Kelly ramp that empty before :p Of course if they hadn't been taken out west, the Hurricane would have had a direct hit on SKF!
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
Impressive operation, actually. I've never seen the Kelly ramp that empty before :p Of course if they hadn't been taken out west, the Hurricane would have had a direct hit on SKF!
I didn't think it was possible, especially here @ Kelly. The jet we flew hadn't been touched in over three weeks and we didn't have a single snafu on the way out...no waivers, no nothing. If it was only that easy on a daily basis!!!
 
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