What knot for the ground end of the rope?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by birdus, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    What knot does everyone use for the ground end of the tie-down rope?

    As far as the end of the rope that attaches to the wing, what do you all think of this? (only 1:39 long)


    Follow-up: what should I use for the tail? I'm guessing a bowline (or one of the other good alternatives suggested in this thread) would work for the ground end, but what about what goes on my tail-wheel (probably hooked over the top of the spindle)? I'm thinking I'd want some kind of knot that I can tug on to get the line nice and taut so that I can add some tension on the lines I've used to tie the wings down.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
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  2. G-force

    G-force Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ground end I would tie a bowline
     
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  3. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    quick release bowline
     
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  4. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    :yeahthat:

    I use two half-hitches at the other end.
     
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  5. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I use a bowline knot to secure the ground end (assuming there's an anchored pad eye to tie it to).
     
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  6. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    I use a double taut-line hitch. The first one is tied close to the tiedown ring, the second behind the first to add security and maintain tension on the first. If you have enough tie-down line, you can half-hitch the second taut-line hitch for additional security. These are easy to tension, will not loosen under load, but are easy to untie by slipping the knots toward the tiedown ring. I carry my own thick (1/2 inch?) polyester tie-down lines that have a metal carabiner hook securely attached to one end. I know these will be long enough to tie down my plane, and are in good condition, stored in the baggage compartment of the plane.
     
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  7. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I use a bowline at the bottom
     
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  8. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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    Bowline for the ground. The knot for the plane in the video is a good one; I've always heard it called a "hurricane" knot, and it's what I use, although usually I tie the top half as he did, then instead of repeating that process I use a double half hitch as the second knot. The hurricane knot at top takes care of keeping things taught, and the double half hitch secures the end against any passers-by (or their kids) who might tug on the end or other wise pull it in a direction that would undo the hurricane knot. The bad knot he showed at the end was sort of a taut-line hitch, but tied completely wrong. Tied properly they're not awful, but they can tend to slip over time. I don't use them.

    One of my favorite knots for tying things down under tension is a "trucker's knot." Again, I don't know if that's the correct term. It's a knot that provides a 2-1 purchase, quick to tie and untie, and very secure. I use it for lashing things down on a roof rack or inside my truck, awning and other guylines when camping, clotheslines, etc. I don't use it on the plane because, again, a quick tug on the wrong end and it comes completely loose.
     
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  9. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    This should be a sticky, along with how to use tie-down chains.
     
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  10. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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    That's what I used to do, until my CFI showed me the hurricane knot. Try it as your first knot.. you might like it. It's faster to tie, untie, and more secure in terms of tension than a tautline hitch. Throw your tautline in as your second knot as you suggested, and you'll have a great combination.
     
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  11. atbroome

    atbroome Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Agreed! Proper tie down knots were one of the things not covered during my training and something I've always been deficient at.
     
  12. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I've just used plain old knots any half whit sailor would be ashamed to admit to. Never had an airplane move even one inch.
     
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  13. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Friction straps and hooks.
     
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  14. timrb

    timrb Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Back before I got my hangar and lived out in the tiedowns, I never used the chains. Since they have absolutely no stretch and you can't reliably get them tight, I always figured that in a gusty wind they'd be similar to hitting your wings with a slide hammer. Half inch nylon three-strand with proper knots--done.

    Tim
     
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  15. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    Step 1. Don't use chains.
     
  16. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    I use my old "too worn" climbing ropes. Never chains.
     
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  17. Brad W

    Brad W Pre-takeoff checklist

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    it's a midshipman's hitch at the top.
    or per this reference the first part is called an awning hitch
    https://www.animatedknots.com/midshipmans-hitch-knot

    The BSA used to call it a taughtline hitch, but as I understand it that's a different knot. I especially found the overboard use of this knot to be interesting when I was studying knots a few years ago as a Scouter.....

    for the lower knot, I haven't had to tie many of them in aviation...seems the ropes are usually in place.... but I'd probably tie two half hitches most likely in a hurry....otherwise depending on the object tying to, but maybe a bowline if doing something more permenant....
     
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  18. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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    upload_2020-7-5_22-11-10.jpeg
    I just keep tying until it looks right
     
  19. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The ground end doesn't need to be adjusted. Anything rather secure works. I use a simple square-not. A bowline is fine but not really necessary as there's no need to keep the loop a fixed size.
     
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  20. av8npa

    av8npa Filing Flight Plan

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    If ya can't tie a knot.....

    ...tie a lot.
     
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  21. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    Slipped bowline
     
  22. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member

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    I use two half hitches on the bottom end and a tautline on the top. I haven't lost a plane (or any of the many other things I've lashed down this way) yet.

    That said, Brad W's link will most likely change that top knot for me going forward. I've tied a million tautline hitches since I was in the Boy Scouts but if there is room for improvement I'll gladly give it a shot. Thank you for that link!
     
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  23. scottfromboston

    scottfromboston Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've been climbing for 25 years and grew up sailing.

    I use camlock straps (NOT ratchet straps) when on the road (keep a set in the plane). Easy to adjust.

    I'd use a bowline if using ropes. If you want to use ropes and are knot-ically challenged, why not use the same knot you use at the top?
     
  24. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    My impression was that the "hurricane knot" worked well only if there was already some tension and therefore I couldn't start with it at the bottom when there's no tension.
     
  25. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Loop it around your leg, and give it some tension??
     
  26. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    No one has answered the question about how to tie the tail wheel, but I have a plan which I'm going to try: start with a quick-release bowline on the ground side (as on the wings) and then use a "trucker's hitch" (i.e., power cinch) to snug things up. We'll see how it goes.
     
  27. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I have no idea why I would bother when I can just tie a bowline, double half-hitch, etc.
     
  28. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I have no idea why you are messing with tying knots when friction/cam straps are way faster. :D
     
  29. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    that's not my 'leg'.......
     
  30. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    The beauty of the bowline is that it's easy to untie when you don't want a permanent knot. I use a midshipman's hitch on the top, as taught by my first instructor.

    Ratchet or cam straps with hooks, I've seen too many hooks fall out to ever use them on my plane.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
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  31. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I'll have to snap a picture of what I use. These aren't falling out with any sort of tension on them - if at all.
     
  32. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bottom knot: bowline. I just love that rabbit!

    Top knot: Midshipman's hitch, and if the bitter end is long enough, do two half hitches further down the line.
     
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  33. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Why untie from the airplane? Seaplanes drag their ropes along everywhere they go... :D
     
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  34. ChemGuy

    ChemGuy Cleared for Takeoff

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    As above...bowline on the bottom.

    Regarding chains....on boats..well sailboats are only what i know...for a good anchor rode you use chain. And attach a snubber from the chain to the boat to dampen the pull, cycling and fatigue on the boat/anchor/chain combo. But in case of very bad weather the chain is still attached to the boat if the snubber parts...aka comes from together.

    Curious why this never go implemented on aircraft. A primary chain attached to keep it from becoming an aluminum missile in a hurricane, but with a piece of nylon a few feet long to handle damp the instantaneous shock loads.

    This to me seems the best of both worlds...
     
  35. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've used a bowline on both ends. On the upper end, I've heard the one I use called a club knot (probably a local usage, as it's the flying club's preferred knot) and also an inverted bowline, as the bitter end extends down the standing end instead of away from it like a standard bowline. If I have lots of line, I'll add an extra bight and make it a quick release bowline.
     
  36. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    How easy is it to make the line taut using a bowline?
     
  37. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    There are actually several variations of the "tautline" hitch. The "official" tautline hitch is easier to snug, but is also easier to loosen. The one most pilots have probably been taught is the midshipman's hitch, which is similar but for which the second loop of the first two loops goes under, and not over the first. It is possible to tie a neater tautline hitch by using the first two steps of the midshipman's hitch and reversing the loop direction for the final half-hitch. This gives a cleaner and more compact knot.
     
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  38. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If you use a ratchet or other adjustable strap, just make sure that it has some positive closure on the tiedown ring. I had a set with just s-hooks jump the ring during a thunderstorm at the first Oshkosh I flew to.
     
  39. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    A quick wrap around the open part of the S hook with some duct tape takes care of that.
     
  40. JCranford

    JCranford En-Route

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    Only one mention of ratchet straps. Why?