Cessna tail Snow

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by brien23, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Snow on the tail of a Cessna a little weight on the tail with snow and the tail goes down. Do you go out and clean off the tail so the plane sits upright or wait for it to melt off since your not going to clear it off the wings or fly it anyway.
     
  2. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I left the snow on the thing unless I was gonna fly. Heck, I didn't visit the airport unless I was gonna fly. And snow was only an away-from-home issue, 'cuz hangar.
    When I flew for business in northern Ohio, I got snow on it several times. Once I even drove 250 miles to get home, not because of snow on the airplane, but because the ramp was not cleared.
     
  3. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Tail goes down? Sit upright?

    When I flew Cessna's, the tail came down on landing, and didn't go up until the next time you flew it. (OK, if one were a smart ass, one could taxi with the tail up, but...)


    ;-)
     
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  4. Steven Untet

    Steven Untet Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I clean my plane off every time it snows. And shovel the parking spot. But then again I show her lots of love cuz she is in charge of me and my family’s safety when we are far far from home. Or help. Or rescue.


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  5. kath

    kath Cleared for Takeoff

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    We clean off the tail every time it snows. Wings too.
    Hubby has a special broom that I am not allowed to use for anything else (so it doesn't pick up gravel or dirt and then scrape the aluminum).
    If we're out of town, we ask a friend-pilot to stop by the airport and do it for us.
    If a pilot-friend is out of town, we'll call and offer to do it for them.
     
  6. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have flown for seasonal companies in Alaska. At the end of the season the procedure (short version) was to park the plane and tie it down. Then a block was put under the tail that had a few inches between the tail and the block, and leave it until next summer.
     
  7. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Some have a rather light spar in the front of the stabilizer. The 172's is especially prone to cracking when people push down on the stab to turn the airplane on the ground. That spar, being so far forward, takes much less load in the air than it does whe someone pushes it down, and that's because the main wheels are well behind the center of lift, putting the CG well ahead of the wheels and increasing the load on the stab. Tha stab's aft spar is much sturdier and closer to the combined stab/elevator center of downforce.

    So load it up with snow, enough to raise the nosewheel, and you're getting close to the same sort of abuse. Since the elevator is locked in a slightly down position, the snow tends to slide off it, reducing the load on the aft spar, so if that nose is up, the stab is being overloaded. And, too, the center of the snow's weight is farther out on the stab than where you'd push, increasing the load on the center section where the cracking occurs.

    Putting a block or stand under the tail doesn't decrease that load.

    https://support.cessna.com/custsupt/contacts/pubs/ourpdf.pdf?as_id=22210
     
  8. wheaties

    wheaties Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well that's, um, encouraging.
     
  9. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Always cleaned snow from aircraft, didn’t think all the extra weight was good for the plane.
     
  10. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Big airplanes, too. This was after an ice storm at Portland, Oregon, in January 2004.

    3E76A25F-0F2C-4C98-B73E-166DDCE8101F.jpeg
     
  11. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Maybe it's the camera angle, but I don't see much on the tail. Perhaps someone was shipping packages of depleted uranium?
     
  12. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    I remember an episode of Fly Wild Alaska where they loaded a 206 until the tail hit the ground. Then removed stuff until it bounced back... They cheered that W&B was good now! :eek:


     
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  13. geezer

    geezer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The real issue is the possibility of the snow partially melting, and freezing solid, with the crust connecting with the snow on the ground. That happened to us ONCE!

    We keep an old car tire at the tie down now, and if snow is in the forecast, the tail tie down is routed through the tire. This keeps the tail from going down too far, and in the last 30 years, no elevator damage.

    Other planes at the airport copied us. The tire body is about 8 inches wide, so holds the elevator more than 8 inches above the ground. The tire should be as far forward as possible, so fuselage comes down on it at two places, spreading the weight.
     
  14. Jumpmaster

    Jumpmaster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Unfortunately I see a number of Cessna’s at KCOE with their tails on the ground. We’ve had about 18” of snow over the past week or so and owners don’t seem to care enough to clean the snow off. Sad.
     
  15. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff

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    i keep cleaning mine and it seems to always stay on the ground, i gotta fly the darned thing to get the tail off the ground ;)
     
  16. Getonit

    Getonit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And why are the thrust reversers out?
     
  17. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    Snow?
     
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  18. flyer770

    flyer770 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Those engine nacelles are also a great snow and ice collection point. Plus with solid ice you don't need as thick a layer to get the same weight, and Portland does get some pretty serious ice storms sometimes.
     
  19. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    I parked outside for 25 years. In the early years I babysat the plane regularly but that faded with time. Unless there was a heavy snow the wind removed most snow down to a thin crust. For the tail I was more worried about snow load on the elevator. For winter storage I used external gust locks on the wings and let the elevator droop to the stops. Snow slides right off the elevators that way. No fighting against a yoke lock.

    Snow on wings was always my trigger to sweep.
     
  20. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I believe it is to keep the engines from windmilling while parked.
     
  21. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Common practice in the sled, aka C-207. I have flown many a trip where the plane was balancing on the mains, until I sat myself in the pilot seat, then the nose wheel came back down. :lol::lol: