How bad is storing your plane on tie downs and not in a hangar?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by midcap, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    Just being curious, as my local airport doesn't appear to have any hangars.

    I know what happens to boats stored outside, I imagine a plane is worse.
     
  2. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 Pattern Altitude

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    Sun, rain, wind, hail, snow and ice, animals, other airplanes, ramp monkeys, tugs, vandals, etc etc...

    My airplane will never live outside unless I'm tied down overnight somewhere that I can't get parked inside.
     
  3. ircphoenix

    ircphoenix En-Route

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    UV destroys stuff. Rain and hail destroy stuff.

    Take precautions against that stuff and it will destroy stuff less.

    Where I'm based, a hangar would cost me 6000 a year. Tie downs cost 20% of that. That $5,000 dollar difference per year can pay for a LOT of wax and weather related mx.
     
  4. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    The only thing worse than parking your plane outside is not having a plane :)

    Get a good cover. Don't cheap out on it, and replace it every couple years. insert plug for Bruce's custom covers here.

    Also get cowl plugs and be mindful of the type of gas caps you have. Some gas caps will allow more moisture than others and that's more important outside.
     
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  5. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    I don't know where you live, but there's no way I'd do it here in OK for a prolonged period of time. To much wind, hail, driving rain, blazing sun, etc. I suppose I'd do it for a little while if I had to, in which case, I'd make sure I had a good cover and/or sun shades, and plug up all the orifices.
     
  6. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Four months of the year ,I store outside. Means I wax the airplane frequently,and have full custom Bruce covers,which are due for replacement. Couldn't afford the hangar costs ,if one was available,from the north east.
     
  7. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A lot depends on location.

    Generally speaking an airplane will store better in dry climates like the southwest than damp coastal areas like the southeast. I would NEVER 'store' an airplane outside here in coastal VA or any any coastal area south. New England fares a little better, but it's still rough.
     
  8. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    yeah that;'s the problem down here we get 71 inches of rainfall annually and it's a constant 100% degree humidity and temps are already in the mid 90's. At the very least, the plane would have to be under a pavilion I would imagine.
     
  9. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Used to be typical.
    Back in the olden days, when I learned to fly, it was common for airports to have rows of aircraft on tiedowns. At Big Beaver (Troy Mi, no longer in operation) where I started, the only hangar was the maintenance hangar.

    But, paint doesn't last as long and there is the potential for hail damage if you live in the wrong part of the country. Cleaning snow and ice off the wings is also a pain in the patoot. Also, after an overhaul, hanging the engine back on out in the open during the middle of winter was less than fun.
     
  10. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    I stored mine outside in FL for almost a year. Had a cover on it most of the time, but definitely took its toll on the paint. I also waxed it a lot to protect it from UV and flew it a lot as well to keep corrosion and moisture from setting in. Florida will EAT a plane up if you don't take care of it and fly it. The moist air, high temperatures, rain, sun, etc will destroy a plane that isn't taken care of properly.

    Even the ones that are in shade hangars out of the bulk of the sun and rain can still suffer from corrosion issues.

    Oh and if you have a fabric plane, or one with wood (Bellanca) instead of a metal plane, I wouldn't even think about outside storage in those climates..you will spend tons of money on fabric replacement and preventative maintenance on the wood which will far outweigh the cost of a hangar.
     
  11. tawood

    tawood En-Route

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    It means enough to me to store indoors that if I couldn't get a hangar nearby, I'd look at further airports, even if just temporarily, to hangar my plane. I'm fortunate to have a choice of 3 airports within 20 miles of my house to get a hangar.
     
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  12. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

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    Most of the rental trainers around here are stored outside. Their paint fades but they seem to do ok. Hail sometimes gets them. Thats the biggest negative.
     
  13. Lachlan

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    I would say that tie-downs are so bad for airplanes that you can only expect to keep one around for about 40 years or more, based on the early 70s Cessnas and Pipers I see tied down out in the elements nearly everywhere I go. ;)
     
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  14. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    True, but I would submit that back in those days airplanes flew a lot more. That makes a huge difference. OP was specifically asking about storing an airplane outdoors. Airports today are full of airplanes left on the ramps whee the owner thought they'd store it for a little while.....and many of those will probably never fly again.
     
  15. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That isn't 'storing' though. Airplanes that get flown regularly like those with flight schools do fine.
     
  16. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you live in a coastal area on the east coast and you really need to store your airplane, you are better off disassembling it and trucking somewhere for long term storage than leaving it outside at the airport.
     
  17. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    I was on tie down for about 5 years before moving to a T -hangar. I waxed the airplane at least 2 times a year and washed more often. I had control locks on everything, cowl plugs, and a good cover. I made SURE the ropes were snug and checked often. I had no significant deterioration. I flew at least once a week. Different than some here, I would rather be on tie down than on the ground.
     
  18. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    I've parked my planes outside for over 20 years. Building another Cub now. It'll live outdoors, too. Alaskan weather can be harsh but we have a low UV index and hail is not a threat. Winter weather inconvenience is easy to manage. Consider your regional environment and don't expect other guys' horror stories OR success stories to automatically apply to you.
     
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  19. edo2000

    edo2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I tied down outside in southcentral Alaska for 30 years. Always near saltwater. Both fabric and metal aircraft, even had a wood-winged Viking for a few years. Had to keep the snow off the wings, keep the tiedown straps tight, etc., the only issue I noticed was a possibly slightly quicker deterioration of fabric than my buddies who had hangars. Ceconite and Stits still
    would easily last 25 years. I just moved to northern New Mexico. Metal airplane, Bruce's canopy cover. I guess I'll see how it works. I'm "on the list" for a hangar, but it has been 6 months so far. No longer holding my breath. :)
     
  20. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    thanks for the posts. I really have not called around for pricing either yet. So it may not even be economical to hangar anyway. I'll have to check into that.
     
  21. Jimmy cooper

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    True! Or if they do fly they are flown by " test pilots" as most sit out for months, are cranked up and flown, then sit again for long periods. Others are mowed around for years and never fly.as the years have flown by most out sitters look like junk and probably are.(most people in Alaska let their aircraft sit out because they have no choice for various reasons. many of them are accomplished mechanics so it's not such a big deal to them and they fly them like you'd drive a car......all the time. ) without a hangar and you not being able to work on it yourself, it's diminishing returns.
     
  22. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    You can't really compare storing a plane outside today to storing one outside back in the early days (60's, 70's, etc). With global warming planes just won't last outside at all these days.

    Sarcasm off.
     
  23. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Line Up and Wait

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    Interesting thread. I'd have no choice at my home airport in the Bay Area. No hangars available, and if they are available, then they'd be so expensive I'm not sure it's worth it. @ircphoenix was right... that savings would pay for a lot of maintenance.
     
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  24. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I doubt that the temperature increase of one degree Centigrade since 1900 is likely to affect aircraft finishes much.
     
  25. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There are a lot of places like that. You either have a ridiculous wait list or the hangars are sky high and you don't have much choice.

    IF that is the case, make it a priority to fly regularly and you will be fine. It's the airplanes that sit for extended periods without use that suffer.
     
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  26. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    Only good thing about living in MS lol. A pretty decent sized hangar (big enough for a twin) is $75 a month
     
  27. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You suck!
     
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  28. pigpenracing

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    Kinda like keeping your car in the garage vs outside.
     
  29. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I think the last time I kept my car in a garage was the late '70s.

    No wait for a hangar at ONZ. Come on down!
     
  30. Jimmy cooper

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    Heat records are being broken continually in recent years if you read much or watch the weather channel. UV Rays are very hard on a plane and summer heat is very hard on the interior and the instruments. My sister in laws car has sat out in the sun for eight years and the finish and plastic headlights, rear tail lights are toast as is the finish.
     
  31. flyingriki

    flyingriki Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Just walk around and look at planes stored outside.....value going downhill fast.
     
  32. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, but one degree C? That's more of an issue for glaciers and sea ice than for aircraft, IMO.
     
  33. Jimmy cooper

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    Not to mention it effects your insurance rates to sit outside. It will be higher. You rarely see a newer model expensive airplane tied down unless it's a transit nor will you see a newer rebuilt fabric aircraft outside. Makes no sense. They go downhill fast regardless of what they are covered with. That's why the ads read , for a cream puff, " always hangared" .
     
  34. Rock

    Rock Pre-Flight

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    I pay $100 a month in Starkville, MS. I am thinking of moving it for a cheaper hangar. No kidding... it's the same distance from my house but five minutes from work. Problem, not as nice an airport.
     
  35. Jimmy cooper

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    You probably don't use a radio at an uncontrolled field either. In any event your wrong. Better buy a used Honda civic instead of a plane.
     
  36. rbridges

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    This topic gets brought up quite a bit, and obviously most people prefer to have a hangar. Generally speaking people like us living in more rural areas can get hangars reasonably. I pay more than you, but quite a bit less than the $500+ plus many people pay in urban areas, assuming they can get their name off the wait list. If it started hitting the 500 mark every month for a hangar, I don't know if my plane would stay indoors.
     
  37. Jimmy cooper

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    In maryland 100 bucks a month is only a dream. Much higher here. Another reason why GA is on a downhill run. . Just too expensive for the average working person.
     
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  38. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    No to mention fuel tanks, I have been told that the sealant used deteriorates with the heat.
     
  39. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Not sure how that's relevant, but you're mistaken.

    So you're saying that keeping planes outdoors used to cause significantly less deterioration?

    Why? I'm not saying that keeping a plane outdoors is good for it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  40. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    Most places in Florida 600 / month is the norm hangar ed (KSPG, KPIE..etc)