tying down airplane outside

tying down airplane outside

I have a C-172- would like some information from those who have long term experience keeping airplane outside not in a hanger.  Do you use covers? How about preheat? What type Tie downs used for the wind? Other suggestions? Thanks Timothy

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Re: tying down airplane outside

Tim

You don't give much info as to location. But tiedown outside is OK but can be hard overall on aircraft. Tie ropes snug and use gust locks. Use good nylon ropes and replace as needed, check frequently that they remain tight. As to covers they can be both good and bad. Should they come loose they can beat the plane's paint and plastic windows and antennas. Sometimes doors can be opened. Maybe try seeing to it both doors are latched and locked from inside, with access thru baggage door with a pole. Then lock baggage door. Hopefully the plane that may be next to yours is also properly secured also. Best thing I can tell you, try to get a hangar if at all possible. Preheat is always excellent idea if it is COLD, and if preheat facilities are available even for a hangared aircraft. 

Bill

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Re: tying down airplane outside

Timothy, I can only tell you what I do, and have been taught.

I have kept my plane outside in some of the worst winter weather up here in northern Alberta, Canada. Temperatures can easily drop to -36 degrees Celsius. I have a full set of covers, including an insulated padded cowling cover, intake plugs, full wing covers, full stabilizer covers and full all-raound cabin window cover. The wing and stabilizer covers are padded on the inside, with special felt strips that fit over the leading and trailing edges. These covers have adjustable nylon straps to fit them snugly/tight over the wings and stabilizers,like a second skin. This is very important - you need a tight/snug fit to avoid damage to your paint.

The cabin window cover has a silk sheet on the inside, so that the windows are not scratched. The manufacturer also suggests as tight a fit as possible.

As far as tie-downs go, I am using 1' wide tape like nylon motorbike tie-downs, the adjustable type, and have been taught NOT to tie the plane down too tight, but just enough so that it does not dance in the wind. The reason is two-fold: (1) Theoretically, you can add stress to the wingspar in severe gusts, and (2) you do not allow the plane to vane a bit into the wind and protect itself in a sense by doing so. My instructor always said: "Guitar strings are meant for guitars, not planes. you don't want to make howling pre-historic music with it, you just want it to stay where you last put it."

In my neck of the woods, pre-heat is a must. I use the Tanis system, which heats each cylinder head induvidually. It also has a battery heater and an oil sump heater. If you are lazy like I am, you can also install a pager which allows you to literally just 'phone' the plane an hour or so ahead of your planned departure, and you will have a nice and toasty machine waiting for you at the airport.

Hope this helps.
Jakes

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Re: tying down airplane outside

thanks for the info.  I read the other day where somebody put a support under the tail on a tri-gear to keep wind gust from slamming tail on the ground.  Anybody seen this???  Thanks Timothy

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