How to tie your plane down correctly - A Simple Lesson

To tie your aircraft down correctly the ropes should be taught and positioned at approximately 45°
to secure the aircraft from both forward movement and sideways movement
Position of the ropes at approximately 45° outwards and forwards on the wing
Position of the ropes at approximately 45° outwards and forwards on the wing

Screw-Its act like miniature post-hole augers. Place the handle through the eye and press down on the handle while turning clockwise. You may find it easier, especially at the start of a hole, to place the handle so that only 30mm protrudes through the eye, and the rest of the handle slopes down and away on the other side. Then place one hand directly on the top of the eye and press straight down, while turning and pressing ' down with the other hand. This way you can do a complete turn each time, rather than only a half-turn, and it's easier to press straight down without wobbling.

You must keep pressing down heavily on the handle while turning!

In very hard ground it may seem that there's no progress at first, as the auger must 'chew' it's way down. The helical disc cannot be expected to pull the auger into the ground by itself without pressure from above. Keep turning and pressing down until the loose dirt behind the auger starts to 'pack-up' in the hole above. (Sometimes you can encourage that 'packing-up' to happen earlier by tamping the loose dirt in the hole with the end of the handle). Once this 'packing-up' happens, the turning force increases considerably, and the Screw-It really begins to 'bite'. Now it's usually necessary to centre the handle and turn with both hands. Keep turning until the anchor is set as deep as you feel it needs to be for the conditions.

In hard ground this may take persistence, and some effort. Screw-Its are not as quick and easy as hammer-driven stakes, but the point is, that you don't need to carry a hammer and the large stakes. Screw-Its are the only design that I know of, that can penetrate hard ground at all, without a heavy hammer and by not swinging a hammer youre not going to damege your plane when things go wrong !.

If you hit a rock don't try to force it past by heaving harder on the handle. Instead, while pushing down on the handle, screw it back and forth, and try to 'work' the Screw-It past the rock.  If not then try another spot. Use patience and persistence rather than brute force.    Stoney ground is the most difficult for any tie-downs, whether hammer-driven stakes or Screw-Its.

In really soft ground use two Screw-Its set 200mm (8") apart. Loop the tie-down rope through the two eyes, so that the tension tends to pull the two Screw-Its towards each other. This greatly increases the holding power of each one.

Always screw the Screw-Its straight down into the ground, not at an angle. Place them so that the pull of the ropes will be at an angle of 30-40° to the vertical. If using two Screw-Its at one tie-down, place them at a right-angle to this direction of pull, so that the load will be shared equally.

If you splice an eye into one end of each of your ropes, it makes them really easy to attatch to the Screw-Its. After the Screw-It is in the ground, slip the eye of the rope over the eye of the Screw-It, then pass the free end of the rope through the eye of the Screw-It and pull up tight. This provides a secure attachment that cannot slip or come untied.

At the aircraft end of the rope, tie the hitch as shown. It's by far the best 'knot' for the purpose - it's quick and easy to tie, doesn't slip, and doesn't jam under tension. For even more security go twice around the tie-point before doing the half-hitches. Putting a couple of extra half-hitches around the standing part really ensures that it can't come undone, but it's still just as easy to untie.

Screw-Its are designed to be used as temporary tie-downs only. They are not meant to be used as pennanent tie-downs, and should not be left in the ground for long periods of time. If used in mud or a salty environment, then wash them in fresh water, and dry before stowing. A spray with CRC or WD 40 before storage will keep them clean and rust-free for years.

Tip! One of the most frequent causes of damage to tied-down aircraft is not necessarily from your aircraft blowing over, but more likely from other aircraft breaking loose and careening into yours. If you're tying-down with a group of other aircraft, have a good look at their tie-downs and ropes, then think about selecting a spot away from the pack, or at least at the windward side of the it.

All users of the Screw-It tie downs must make their own judgement about the suitability of their use in any particular situation, dependant upon factors such as aircraft type, current and forecast weather, exposure, and ground conditions.

The manufacturer and supplier can not supervise the use of the Screw-Its and will not be responsible for any damage or loss should they be pulled from the ground or break. The supplier and manufacturer will not accept any liability arising from any use of the tie downs.

GUARANTEE - All 'Screw-Its' are guaranteed against breakage under normal use for one year. If a Screw-It breaks just send it back to the manufacturer for a free replacement. If the shaft of a Screw-It gets bent, it may be straightened without any problem of embrittlement.

This page was last modified  Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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