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Thread: Tie downs for the north slope

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default Tie downs for the north slope

    Has anybody used the twist in tie downs for a 180 size plane on the north slope ? I'm planing to make the trip this Aug.. Also anybody headed up in mid Aug this year that would want to cover each other? PM me about that Thanks Tom

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    Duckbills. I get them at AIH. The middle sized is what we use.

    Used them all over. To include the AK peninsula. Winds over 75mph in '08. Over 50 every **** year I think.


    I keep a set in the cub with a driver and a set in the 180 with a driver. Estwing axe in both always too though I have seen folks drive them with a big rock. Only time they come out of any plane I own is when its winter enough to swap with ice screws and deadman bags.

    Have a good trip.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I agree with AK-Hunt,
    I have used the Duck-Bill type with great success. Of course they end up staying there most of the time...
    I have a few of the screw-in types that look like a dog tie down. I could never get them to go in very far before they hit a rock, tree root, frozen ground or some other weird thing. Then you get tempted to use it when it is not in far enough to do any good.
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    Member Toddler's Avatar
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    Tom
    I think the Duck bill is the way to go. On the slope you are going to run into permafrost before you get deep enough to be a solid tie down. The duckbill you can dive into the permafrost and set it.

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    Drew
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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Default More the tie down spot than the tie down

    It is great to have good tie downs, but try to make sure you have as much protection as you can from the wind when you do tie down. You may be a couple days walk from your plane when the wind comes. It is comfortable to know that even with a big blow and good tie downs you are protected something extra by the natural topography or trees.

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    No trees on the north slope....are you telling me you carry that big steel rod around with you to drive duck bills in? Hard to believe....when you say north slope, I'm assuming you mean the foothills of the Brooks Range for sheep hunting? I've always been able to tie around the bases of bushes or fill duffle bags with rocks or use fuel containers to keep the airplane in one place. Those auger type tie-downs are worthless....I've seen many planes damaged by wind on the north side of the Brooks.....Be careful

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    No trees on the north slope....are you telling me you carry that big steel rod around with you to drive duck bills in? Hard to believe....
    Yes. Its about a pound. No plane I've owned has flown without it in a decade or so. Doesn't come out until the ice screws and deadman bags go in. I'm didn't invent the idea........there are plenty more around here the same.

    Used to hunt peninsula a bit and I don't believe I'd trust bushes or bags of rocks when the wind blows 80 but open to new ideas.
    What is the highest winds you have had with that tiedown system? (Bags of rock) I'm always interested in new ideas. What kind of bag? Do they tear with certain winds? Elaborate? Pics? Used it many years? Highest winds? If its better, I'm in.

    Thanks....

    I actually used that once but it was for lack of not being able to drive a duckbill........long story and the wind never really blew.

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    For the OP:
    I know some who swear by the spoiler mesh wing covers. Took them to the peninsula in 08 (devastating winds that spring) and my plane was flying ALOT less than the cub next to me without the spoilers.
    Also, we dig holes and sink the mains to reduce AOA down there. Usually find a place where we can taxi or walk the planes into a depression too.

    If you have spoiler covers, I'd take them if you were really worried and had space.

    The hole digging, etc is really only for the worst, IMO.

    Throwing out ideas for ya.

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    I carry #40 Duckbills in my tool kit. Small, cheap, and the driver is simple to pack. Each anchor is rated to hold 300#. Probably way more than a bag of rocks. If that's not enough? Pound in two a side. At the cabin I use #68s. Rated to 1100# per. Not as cheap and not as easy to drive but manageable. The driver is simple to carry. I carried mine in the Cub this weekend. At Lake Hood I used #88s at my float spot. For those the driver is expensive and too long to be practical to tote around but you'll need every bit of a 16# sledge to drive them anyway and expect a good workout with that. AK Wire Rope lent me the driver when I drove mine. I broke one sledge handle and beat up another pretty good. Driving a 1/2" stake that starts at chest height isn't easy. The field maintenance guys at Hood must use a rattle hammer to drive them but it appears Duckbill #88s are what they used at my strip spot. I babysat my 180 through 117mph recorded winds and the anchors held fine.

    A respected old guy told me to leave the tail untied when facing into the wind. Trim for nose down and let the tail fly if it wants to.

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    Since I am hammer swinging impaired, I took an old axe / hammer head and welded a hollow steel tube on it as a handle. For driving in duck-bills I slide the hollow tube over the driving rod and use it like a post driver (slide hammer). . It works well and you won't miss and break your axe/hammer handle. I did once have a driving rod get jammed and to this day it is still out there with a faded red bandana tied to it.

    I leave survey tape on the ends of my cables so the next pilot in that spot might see them and have the use of them as well.
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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    thanks guys , I'll go with the duck bills I don't like reinventing a good working thing. This trip is for Caribou and camping. To include good eats and as little hard work as posible. The plan is to fly 20 miles or so off the road and do as many trips as needed to be comify. This includes a 65 lb stove and screen house for dinning.
    Sorry I haven't been on line for a while, we have been moving into a new house in Seldovia ,and trying to get everything here. the weather has been up and down all spring and early summer to the point of having to take a water taxi to Homer leaving the airplane in Seldovia today. Thanks again guys. Tom

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    You got that right. It was 38 degrees at my house last night. Not much of a summer so far... More like last fall...
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  13. #13

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    Hello,
    I'm flying my Maule up to the North Slope leaving Fairbanks on August 8th weather permitting. As a contingency plan I have a friend from Anchorage pulling a 16 foot Johnboat with an outboard jet for hunting if the weather is too lousy to fly. My wingman from Spokane is Bill Abes in his Cessna 170. Bill has developed an interesting tie-down system: http://abesaviation.com/
    Bill won't be flying with me to the North Slope, and I'm not trying to sell anything. With the cost of airplanes and the remoteness of the Slope I'm going to try one of his tiedown systems.
    I'll have a caribou and wolf tags to hunt and plan on going as far as the Canning River. Good luck out there. Maybe I'll see you at Galbraith Lake, Happy Valley, or the Kavik River Camp.

    James
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    Quote Originally Posted by James/Spokane Maule Pilot View Post
    Hello,
    With the cost of airplanes and the remoteness of the Slope I'm going to try one of his tiedown systems.
    DSCF0132.jpg
    Not the first place I'd want to try new gear. What's the backup plan when it doesn't hold in the tundra? "With the cost of airplanes" and all that........
    I wouldn't want to figure out what the next step was while hanging from a lift strut............
    Good luck.
    KA
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK-HUNT View Post
    Not the first place I'd want to try new gear. What's the backup plan when it doesn't hold in the tundra? "With the cost of airplanes" and all that........
    I wouldn't want to figure out what the next step was while hanging from a lift strut............
    Good luck.
    KA
    Hello Alaska Pilots,
    Getting close to heading north this August. I normally use three 2.5 foot half inch spikes for tie-downs with nylon cargo straps. With the tundra soil I think the Abes system: http://abesaviation.com/pull_tests.asp might do a better job. I plan on using anything I have to including, duffle bags full of rocks, driftwood, digging holes for the mains, or myself if need be.

    Looks like the 100LL prices vary a lot in Alaska this summer, and are real high in Bettles. I'm going to check with the Kavik River Camp about the availability of av-gas too. When you really need gas its priceless.

    James
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    One other consideration for tiedowns in big wind is to tie down the main (front) gear legs at an appropriate spot (axle next to the wheel) with the anchors 8 or more feet out in front of the plane and placed a bit wider than the distance between the wheels. . This provides an angle only a few degrees above horizontal and helps to reduce some of the jerking strain on the wing tiedowns in gusting winds. It also provides additional protection against the possibility of the tiedowns pulling loose. Mr. Pid is correct in suggesting the tail tiedown should be loose enough to allow the tail to fly. This reduces the angle of attack in a big wind and results in less strain on the wing tiedown rings and/or wing strut attach points.

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    Seen people use that orange fencing on constructions sites before. Pile rocks on top of it with a metal rod down below the fencing. I haven't personally tried it though.

  19. #19

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    I carry duckbills with driver and ax in cub. As backup I carry gill nets they are very light and you can fill them with rocks incase you cant get the duckbill in. Duckbills work great!! Gill nets are a lot lighter but then you have to fine the rocks to fill them.
    DENNY

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    I just looked at the cost of the Abe's system, and googled Duckbills. If you buy in quantity the 300 lb duckbills are something like $4 each and the 1100 lb ones are something like $7 each. Abe's system starts at $185.

    I also watched the Aviation Consumer video again. The Aviation Consumer tests were done in very poor soil. I am not sure how duckbills would have done in that kind of soil. The 300 lb rating is only good if the soil lets you put that kind of load on the duckbill.

    Someone below raised the question of mesh wing spoilers. How well do they work? If you have them is there still a reason not to tie down the tail? If they work, I can't see any reason why it would not be a good idea to have a good tiedown as well. Am I missing something?

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