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Andy A

Tail tie down strap

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What are you guys doing to tie down the tail of your airplane when it's parked overnight on the ramp? Our Ctls doesn't have a rear tie down on the tail.  I've seen the straps used on the tails of other similar planes.  Anybody know where to buy them? 

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Mine came with one as well. I think all should have. If you didn't get one I would check with the prior owners, or call Flight Design USA to see if you can get a replacement.

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You don't need anything special. Go to Ace Hardware (a.k.a Ace Aviation)  and buy about 5' of 2" wide nylon webbing strap. Tie a loop on each end or have someone sew a loop at both ends. Now you have a tie down strap for the tail. You can then either hook the rope or chain through both loops or run one loop through the other and just secure the one loop to the rope or chain. The webbing will only cost a few dollars.

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Thanks for the tip. Will look at that :)

May be irrelevant to the thread: are there also tie downs for the wings?

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The CTSW and CTLS have wing tiedowns. My CT2k doesn't. I didn't get the tail strap either.

I asked about adding wing tiedowns after that fact (I think I could have come up with a fine set) but my LOA request was rejected by Flight Design.

Since then I've come to appreciate what I have.

With a light wing loading like ours, the important thing is to keep the nose down. Wing tiedowns do a poor job of that, especially if they are tied straight down. The ground end is too close to the axis of rotation about the main gear - they have no leverage. Chain the wings down tight and then have a couple big guys straddle the narrow part of the tail and you'll probably snap the wing tiedowns off.

Instead I carry short nylon sling with a carabiner in my foot locker. I park with my nose over one of the ground rings. I wrap the sling around the lower cross bar on the frame that holds the engine mount and nose gear to the fire wall and clip the biner directly to the ground ring.

My strap and biner can carry many times the weight of my aircraft; and that cross bar probably can too. I think my setup up can survive with any two members of this forum on riding the tail... but I wouldn't want to try. The goal is not to come up with a new rodeo game. Its to keep the angle of attack of the wing as low as possible, which keeps the plane firmly planted on the ground.

I think my setup can ride out a hurricane - as long as there are no obstructions within my turning radius and no trees, mobile homes, hangars or other aircraft upwind of me - but again, I wouldn't want to try.

Mike Koerner

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Mike, do you tie the wings down too? I was thinking it might be possible foe a quartering cross wind to lift one wing.

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Doug,

Tying down the wings is not an option for me. I don't have a hard point on the wings and FD wouldn't let me add them. Tying to the control hinges is a no-no. Throwing a strap over the top of the wing would surely damage the tailing edge control surfaces. I considered feeding an over-wing strap into the slot in front of the control surfaces, but it's not a straight path and would still load the control hinges.  I could rig something to the tip but it's not structural. That leaves building a padded rigid frame that fits over the wing which would be hard to carry. 

Yes, a very strong crosswind can lift a tip. I try to tie the plane into the wind. If the winds sift I am hopeful they do so gradually and believe that in such strong winds the plane will weathervane about the nose tiedown, scuffing the tires as rocks from main to main. Again, assuming no obstructions within my turning radius.

This is all still theoretical. I haven't had it out in a hurricane yet... though the FBO at Elmira claimed the winds got to 50 knots last weekend before they decided to move my plane into their hangar.

Mike Koerner

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