Tie Down Best Practices

There are as many different ways to tie down a light aircraft, satellite dish, RV or awnings but the best sources are those from government agencies or associations.

Aircraft tie downs

Each year numerous aircraft are needlessly damaged by windstorms because of inattention to weather forecasts, negligence, or improper tiedown procedures. Windstorms may be broadly classified as cyclonic storms low pressure systems, regional or localized terrain induced winds, thunderstorm or tornado induced winds and hurricanes.

For tying down light aircraft  to minimize the risk of damage or total loss under these conditions,  the FAA recommended 45 degree tie down is the most widely supported.   Details of the full advisory can be found here ( FAA Advisory 20-35C).

In brief, the FAA Advisory 20-35C details :

The best protection against windstorm damage is, of course to fly the aircraft out of the impending storm area provided you have sufficient warning time. The next best protective measure is to secure the aircraft in a stormproof hanger or other suitable shelter, The remaining alternative is to assure that the aircraft is tied down securely. When securing your aircraft, it is considered good practice to fasten all doors and windows properly, thereby minimizing damage inside the aircraft. Engine openings (intake and exhaust) for both reciprocating and gas turbines should be covered to prevent entry of foreign matter. Pitot-static tubes should also be covered to prevent damage or entry of foreign matter, Make sure your neighbor’s aircraft is also tied down

Tiedown anchors for single-engine aircraft should provide a minimum holding power (strength) of approximately 3,000 pounds each. The type of anchors in use varies depending upon the type of parking area- whether for a concrete paved surface, a bituminous paved surface, or an unpaved turf area. Location of tiedowns are usually indicated by some suitable mans, either white or yellow paint I or a painted tire which has been fastened into the ground, or surrounding the tiedown anchor with crushed stone. The tiedown anchor eye should not protrude more than 1 inch above ground.

On tricycle gear aircraft, secure a tiedown line through the nosegear tiedown ring. In addition, secure the middle of a length of rope to the tiedown ring in the tail section. Pull each end of the rope away at a 45 degree angle and secure to ground anchors at each side of the tail. Elevators should be secured parallel to the ground (neutral position). It is good practice to also secure the flaps, especially if the aircraft is tailed into the wind.

source : ( FAA Advisory 20-35C).

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