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Thread: Tie down anchor ideas

  1. #1
    Member faithnhim's Avatar
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    Default Tie down anchor ideas

    Hey guys,

    I recently moved my plane to my home strip in Palmer and started digging in tie downs for the typical buried tire method. I see all the wind the valley has to offer so I started thinking that I might actually pull the tire from the ground when it's blowing 80 MPH. I had the thought of burying the tire all the way under and then wrapping chain around it and tieing off to the chain. Then I thought about back filling with concrete instead of dirt.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2

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    I live in N. Wasilla so not nearly the wind you have in Palmer. What I did last summer was take 5 gallon buckets, drill a hole in the bottom sides so a long piece of rebar can stick through the sides and stick way out wider than the bucket. My chains are hooked on the bottom rebar and go up the middle of the bucket which is filled with more rebar and concrete. The only down side was digging the holes (deep) by hand which is much larger than the bucket. Other planes on our strip were damaged this winter during the windstorms, mine was NOT. I used a duckbill for the tail, but I am going to bury another 5 gal bucket with rebar, chain and concrete for the tail this summer.

    Have fun.

  3. #3
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    Duckbill anchors are what I use, Arctic Wire Rope carries them in several sizes. They lent me the drive rod for my bigger ones. I used a sledge hammer but if I did it again I'd rent a jack hammer. A duckbill in undisturbed soil should be stronger than most things you'll bury in a hole and cover up but either will hold a plane. I've watched my Cessna ride out 117mph winds. I saw some tie downs fail that night but not as many as failed ropes. That's pilot error. If I really wanted to be prepared I'd add another pair of duckbills for the wings. Two anchors and two ropes would help me sleep better when the big winds blow.

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    Member akflyer's Avatar
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    Hello stranger, just to throw my info, I carry duckbills but never have had to use them, but I know you need to keep her tied down ay your place. Give me a shout sometime.

  5. #5
    Member ocnfish's Avatar
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    Lived at Skyranch for 9 years and I used the in the ground 5 galon bucket / rebarr / concrete with a crimped 3/8 inch cable loop on top clamped deep into the bucket rebar. Never had a prolem, yes you have to put in a half a days hard labor to do it .... if you put the bucket 6 inches deeper than the surface you can cover with dirt, only cables stick up.

  6. #6
    Member faithnhim's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies!
    I started digging a week ago and in case anyone is curios, last week it was frozen 8" down and after the hole is open, thaws about 1.5" per day:-)) Least that's how it was at my place. I started digging out for oversized 1 ton type truck tires so my hole is fairly large already. I planned on going deep enough to cover the tire cause my wife wants my spot for a cow when the hanger is ready. So, sounds like I was not too far off on a solid anchor set up and I will incorporate some rebar to the plan.

    Akflyer, yes, it is the season to be flying so we need to connect. The only problem is, I finally got the M6 Maule so I can take the family along. My cub buddies are angry but I am sure we will work it out to be able to play nice together. Ya, you know the wind I can get over here. Easy to stay up half the night and watch her flying out the back window. As Mr. Pid says, I want to be able to sleep at night;-))
    Thanks again for the feedback.

  7. #7
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Back when I live between Palmer and Wasilla, I was over at Anderson Lake strip. The tires that were buried over there had a 3 foot long chunk of pressure treated 2x6 or 4x4 buried as it was going through the hole in the tire. They would not come out of the ground. And if you hit them in the right direction, a snow plow will not really damage them much.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  8. #8
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    Tires buried are a great way to go as they are flexible and stretch...bungee effect...

    Much damage is incured from too solid a tie down

  9. #9
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    Herring spotting for the Togiak herring seine season resulted in a few destroyed airplanes over the years. As a spotter, I flew that fishery both on floats and on wheels and decided that I preferred wheels for that one.

    After several airplanes were destroyed while tied down on Nunavarchak Beach in a 100+mph wind in the early eighties we figured out a fairly fool proof way to tie down wheel planes. We would completely bury four tires on edge in a rectangular array on the beach with them spaced so that the airplane could be secured in any one of four directions. Each tire had a sturdy loop of rope tied through it just visible above the gravel beach. The tires along with 50 gallon drums of avgas were furnished for us and transported by the boats we spotted for.

    The primary protection against the worst winds was a line looped through the rope on the tire out in front of the airplane and tied to the gear legs just inside of both main wheels. This line was pulled tight. The wing tiedown lines were tied with less tension so that any jerking resulting from strong gusts was absorbed by the two lines going to the landing gear legs. The tail tiedown was left slack enough so that the tail could fly in a strong wind with the wings virtually level. This arrangement worked very well. Some of the spotters even had contests during storms with the wing tiedowns untied. With engine off, they would try to see who could keep all three wheels off the ground the longest in strong gusts or a strong sustained wind.

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