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Question To tie down or not?

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Neal

Forums Chief Pilot
Staff member
Joined
Oct 31, 1996
Posts
710
Type aircraft owned
Carbon Cub FX-3
Base airport
KFCI
Ratings
COMM, IFR, MEL, SEL
Fly-in season is arriving and I like to go to destinations with grass strip events. The question is when to tie down. I have parking brakes, I learned it's best to just engage one side so wind or something spins you vs flips you over but my concern would be prop blast, etc. If lined up in a row, probably less of a concern but if staggered, maybe some concern.

When do you take the extra effort to tie down at events such as for a day, no overnight?
 
For me, that decision starts with the preflight weather analysis and a check of the radar picture after arrival. As you mentioned, the parking spot is the next factor to consider. Will the airplane be subject to propeller blast or worse, jet blast? Some of the issues can be mitigated by being able to select your parking spot.

Our airplane weighs seven hundred seventy five pounds empty and I would like there to be a good chance that the airplane will still be in the same place when I get back to it. I always lock the controls and chock the airplane before leaving the vicinity. If I will be away from the airplane for up to two hours, I may leave it at that if it is not likely there will be more than a ten knot surface wind. If the wind is higher than that, or the airplane might be subjected to jet blast or a hover-taxiing helicopter, it is tied down. Of course, tieing the aircraft down is mandatory at some larger fly-in events.

A set of tie down ropes and travel chocks are always carried in the airplane. I have a "The Claw" tie down kit that is carried if flying to a location where tie down anchors will not be available.

Our airplane does not have a parking brake, but I wouldn't rely on it if it did. If you are in a location where FBO personel may have to move the airplane, leaving the parking brake on is a no-no. Regarding setting just one main wheel brake to allow the airplane to pivot into the wind is a novel idea. You might consider what would happen if another airplane parks next to yours. If there is a chance of a wind gust strong enough to weathervane the airplane, It should be tied down anyway.
 
I got in the habit of carrying a set of wheel chocks with me. If I’m there only for a few hours and the winds are reasonable, I’ll just use the chocks.

Any extended stay and I’d tie down.
 
Fly-in season is arriving and I like to go to destinations with grass strip events. The question is when to tie down. I have parking brakes, I learned it's best to just engage one side so wind or something spins you vs flips you over but my concern would be prop blast, etc. If lined up in a row, probably less of a concern but if staggered, maybe some concern.

When do you take the extra effort to tie down at events such as for a day, no overnight?
Any over night stay for me means a tie-down. If prop blast is a possibility I would also tie-down
 
Excellent discussion topic. My FX3 is the first airplane I have had with functional parking brakes. I'm starting to use them during start up and engine warm up. Don't use them at an FBO was a great suggestion. Any other dos and don't would be appreciated.
 

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