Wench by the Tail

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bcocheran
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Wench by the Tail

Post by bcocheran »

Does anyone know if it is ok to pull the DA40 into the hanger via a wench using the tie down hook on the tail? I understand it can be used a a tie down, but that is not the same force as dragging it by that spot. Thanks!


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Re: Wench by the Tail

Post by Chris »

We've used a winch to pull our DA40XL into the hangar for the past several years. Check the two threads below for some past discussion on the topic.

Ground handling help needed
Possible tail damage using a winch
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Re: Wench by the Tail

Post by BlackMammoth »

I thought this thread was going to be about wench tail :(
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Re: Wench by the Tail

Post by Keith M »

BlackMammoth wrote:I thought this thread was going to be about wench tail :(
Is this the kind of thing you were expecting?
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Re: Wench by the Tail

Post by bcocheran »

THAT'S THE ONE I WAS TALKING ABOUT!!

Just asked our Daimond Service Tech...he said, in his opinion, it should be fine..
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Re: Wench by the Tail

Post by bcocheran »

Well...here is the answer from the Tech Support Group from Diamond in London, Ontario...
The tail tiedown is NOT intended as a winch point. He said it is attached with 6 screws and some sealant and was not designed for backward towing stresses of the aircraft (which really sucks! being that i rigged up a winch!).

He suggested a motorized nose wheel, preferentially one that lifts the nose wheel as that is what they use at the factory.

He did say that NONE of these options are commented on by Diamond as certified or approved methods of moving the aircraft....
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Re: Wench by the Tail

Post by JamesDS »

This method might be helpful who winch.
I am using a winch to pull my DA40 into the hangar by the nose wheel. A picture makes the whole thing obvious, and also shows the extended control handle of the winch and the fat splice.

Image

My flying partner made a bridle with two snaps on each end as you might find on a dog leash. He put a pulley in the middle to balance the load. The bridle attached to two eye bolts put on the tow bar, where a plain bolt originally held on those 1.5 inch white plastic plugs that fit into the nose wheel receptacles. The winch, a cheap 120 volts Harbor Freight unit that moves slowly, is attached to the back wall of the hangar. Lines on the apron in front of the hangar mark the needed centerline of one main wheel. I ride the tail boom to lift the nose wheel off the ground and thus maneuver the plane easily. I also control the winch with the control handle, the cord of which I extended by 50 feet with a splice and several layers of adhesive lined shrink tubing. (Hard to find 4 wire rubber covered flexible wire, but McMaster-Carr had the right thing. 18 gauge was needed as I recall.)

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Re: Wench by the Tail

Post by Rick »

Welcome, James! Yours is a new approach I haven't seen mentioned before in this forum, and it seems like a pretty good one. Your picture makes it very clear. Plus, you may have finally found a use for the original Diamond tow bar, which is all but worthless for actually moving the plane by hand!

Still seems like it would be easier to just find a wench (or two) to pull it in for you, though! ;) Certainly more fun...
(Sorry!)

How wide is your hangar door, James?
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Re: Wench by the Tail

Post by Gnomad »

Interesting solution. Just to clarify, you are still pushing down on the tail to raise the nose before engaging the winch? If so, is it difficult to steer and/or are there winch forces trying to force the nose back down? This is all doable solo right?

Oh...and welcome to DAN!
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Re: Wench by the Tail

Post by JamesDS »

Rick asked how wide the hangar entrance was. I'm not sure, but the door frame cuts about 6 inches off each inner dimension. At the choke point, there is a total of perhaps 20 inches, or 10" per side.

Eric asked how hard it was to steer by sitting on the tail. I lift the nose before engaging the winch, and the nose does not have a tendency to pitch up or down with the pull. This is all done solo, but more fun when my brother-in-law the architect is flying with me. He designed the system you see in the picture. He also put down the main wheel guide line on the apron and the outline of the plane in the hangar.

I mounted the winch on a Harbor Freight dolly with four casters, because it must mount to a door exactly in the center of the back wall, and it is easly removed with two stout fasteners from Home Depot. It cost more than I recalled, normally $169, now on sale for less.
Image

Jim
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