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Tiedown tying tips

Half-hitch to the rescue

Proper aircraft tiedown technique is essential whether you’re securing your aircraft on the ramp at your home airfield, exploring new airfields, or aircraft-camping under the stars.
Illustration by Charles Floyd. Click on image for high res picture.

This refresher will help tie up any loose ends if it’s been awhile or if you’re lucky enough to have a hangar. But first, confirm the aircraft’s control surfaces and brakes are secure per the manufacturer’s instructions, and that the wheels are chocked when appropriate.

Taking it from the ground up, make sure your tiedown rope is securely anchored. We’ve seen ramps with metal rails embedded in asphalt, chain stretched across ramps, or nothing at all. When anticipating a grass field visit, pack claw-type bases and hammer them into the turf.

Once the tiedown rope is secured to the ground it’s time to move to the aircraft. A modified half-hitch is typically taught during primary flight training.

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David Tulis

David Tulis

Senior Photographer
Senior Photographer David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a private pilot with single-engine land and sea ratings and a tailwheel endorsement. He is also a certificated remote pilot and co-host of the award-wining AOPA Hangar Talk podcast. David enjoys vintage aircraft ad photography.

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