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Thread: HBC Parking Into The Wind

  1. #1

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    HBC Parking Into The Wind

    After the Big Storm on Saturday evening, conversation again turned to parking HBC with the airplanes facing west, into the prevailing wind, where all the nasty weather comes from. In effect, the most recent storm subjected the whole fleet to a 50~70 mph tail slide, and it seems like it happens every year. There were more than a few damaged airplanes, in particular A-model RV's.

    The subject has been brought up by board members and others in the past, without success. Tradition dies hard at OSH, where airplanes have always been parked facing show center, except for the North 40, where they nest nose/tail to pack them in. Jack Pelton was due at the HBC pavilion Sunday evening to dedicate it to Van (entirely deserved!), so a plan was organized to solicit his support with some crowd encouragement...after proper prep via channels. The upshot was the question didn't require audience participation. I spoke with him, he knew the deal, and (I quote) "It's your fly-in. Tell the parking chairman what you want, and that I support it". Being me, I pushed a bit, asking "Can I tell him you said get it done?" The response was a clear "Yes".


    That said, there are right and wrong ways to do everything. I think as a group, we greatly respect the volunteers who do the hard work, and nobody, including me, is going to be silly enough to tell them what to do. That probably includes Jack. Change will require consensus.

    As Mr. Pelton said, it's your fly-in. If you want to park facing west next year, let's hear it. If not, let's hear that too. Either way, consider the greater good.
    Last edited by DanH; 08-03-2022 at 07:02 PM.
    Dan Horton
    RV-8 Fastback
    Barrett IO-390
    Alabama

  2. #2
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Put me down as a "yes" to parking into the wind please. I dodged a bullet this year with the Saturday storm. I had my gust lock installed (it normally works very well), but sometime during the storm it slipped off somehow (it's and Anti-SplatAero design that locks the stick and rudder pedals together). Luckily my RV-10 didn't incur any damage, but it just as easily could have been a disaster.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
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  3. #3
    Jeff Point's Avatar
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    Dan,

    As we discussed at the show, this idea is under serious consideration for next year among those of us in charge of the parking arrangements. We spent some time later in the week scoping things out and taking measurements to get a better handle on exactly what it would take to make it happen. Short version is that we could do it with reasonable efforts, mostly involving relocating some fences and remarking some burn lines.

    Before making any significant change, it is a good idea to carefully think things through and not just make a knee-jerk decision. Always beware the law of unintended consequences. Just to get discussion going, here are is some food for thought:

    Parking into the wind may be best for nose-gear RVs, but what about other types? Does pointing into the wind increase the risk for say a tailwheel RV, a canard aircraft, or a Cub-type which is now exposing it's high-lift airfoil to 60 MPH winds and straining it's tie downs beyond the failure point? A few years back we had an aircraft in HBP get ripped loose from it's tie downs in a storm and deposited upside down on top of the aircraft parked next to it, so it can happen. Does parking facing west increase that risk? Or the less extreme example of one being pulled loose from it's tie downs and pivoting into the adjacent aircraft, which has also happened.

    We have 11 months to hash this out and come to a decision, so let's have the conversation.
    Jeff Point
    RV-6 and RLU-1 built & flying
    Tech Counselor, Flight Advisor & President, EAA Chapter 18
    Milwaukee, WI
    "It All Started Here!"

  4. #4

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    Jeff, is there any data from the North 40, even if anecdotal? They park both ways.
    Dan Horton
    RV-8 Fastback
    Barrett IO-390
    Alabama

  5. #5
    Jeff Point's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanH View Post
    Jeff, is there any data from the North 40, even if anecdotal? They park both ways.
    I dunno, but I know who to ask. Stand by for further…
    Jeff Point
    RV-6 and RLU-1 built & flying
    Tech Counselor, Flight Advisor & President, EAA Chapter 18
    Milwaukee, WI
    "It All Started Here!"

  6. #6

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    To lift an idea from "The Hunger Games", I think the odds would always be in our favor parked into the wind.

    1) In general, aircraft would be facing the prevailing winds and control surfaces would typically be in trail, reducing the chances of them getting slammed around.

    2) I think both nosegear and tailwheel aircraft, properly secured, won't go anywhere in strong headwinds. The aircraft I've seen wrecked at Oshkosh were all turned away from the wind and when the tail broke loose, bad things happened. Obviously, there are no guarantees that aircraft will be properly secured, but I think the odds are generally improved with the aircraft facing the wind.

    Aside: The nice little Sopwith Pup replica parked at the Replica Fighter Association HQ actually broke loose during the storm. I don't know why it didn't get shredded, but we walked up on it that evening, repaired the broken rope that had previously held the tail and tightened the ropes attached to the wings. The aircraft was secured by "the claw" and whoever tied it down didn't follow the instructions on how to use that system. Maybe someone needs to walk the field an hour after aircraft arrive and give tie-down guidance. There are people who could use help there...

  7. #7
    Gary.Sobek's Avatar
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    I have been going with the flow and parking as the volunteers request I park.

    Parking into the wind may help but if people do not have gust locks and take precautions to secure their flight surfaces I am of the opinion that it may not be enough. Over the years, I have gone from using gust locks outside the airplane to just placing the seatbelt around the stick. I have had my external gust locks blow off in strong winds. Yes there was one fatal accident where poor preflight did not remove the PAX seatbelt from the stick.

    Most likely there is not one single solution. Owner / operators MUST do what is best to secure their aircraft for gusty conditions and heavy precipitation. Just relying on direction of parking is not the complete solution but may be part of the solution.

    I know that the homebuilt parking chairman is looking out for the best interest of all of us but we still must do our best to secure our own aircraft.
    Gary A. Sobek
    EAA Lifetime Member
    A&P, Homebuilder, Pilot

    When once you have tasted flight,
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    and there you will always long to return.
    - Leonardo da Vinci

  8. #8

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    I havent flown in but is there a reason you couldnt swing you plane into the wind if you wanted to? Maybe with wet grass it would be difficult but who would stop you? I bet you would have a bunch of people do the same.

  9. #9
    Jeff Point's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockwoodrv9a View Post
    I havent flown in but is there a reason you couldnt swing you plane into the wind if you wanted to? Maybe with wet grass it would be difficult but who would stop you? I bet you would have a bunch of people do the same.
    No reason at all. As long as you stay within the footprint of your parking spot, you can swing it around to face the other direction, and a few folks do so. We haven't really emphasized it but that is something we are also looking at for next year.
    Jeff Point
    RV-6 and RLU-1 built & flying
    Tech Counselor, Flight Advisor & President, EAA Chapter 18
    Milwaukee, WI
    "It All Started Here!"

  10. #10
    Jeff Point's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
    The aircraft was secured by "the claw" and whoever tied it down didn't follow the instructions on how to use that system. Maybe someone needs to walk the field an hour after aircraft arrive and give tie-down guidance. There are people who could use help there...
    Bingo. I see thousands of tie downs each year and a shockingly high percent are improperly installed, particularly "The Claw" which has become very popular. We try our best to correct folks who are doing it wrong but it often isn't caught until after the plane is tied down, and some folks just don't like to take friendly advice.

    I am convinced that many of the reports of "failures" of this system over the years were due to improper installation.

    Here's a photo from this year of a random RV in HBP. This owner put on a clinic on how not to install The Claw, but he is far from the only one.

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    Jeff Point
    RV-6 and RLU-1 built & flying
    Tech Counselor, Flight Advisor & President, EAA Chapter 18
    Milwaukee, WI
    "It All Started Here!"

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