Parking and Securing Light Aircraft on Grass and Rough Airfields
I never really thought about what the owners of light aircraft do with their small aeroplanes after they park them on a grass airstrip or airfield. I never really thought that it was a 'thing', that is until one day I was talking to a pilot of a light aircraft and then he showed me a photo of a light plane that had flipped whilst parked.
It was an interesting topic of conversation because it made me aware that cautious pilots of small or light aircraft carry their own ground anchors to tie down to when parked. How much ground anchoring depends upon a number of factors such as the size and lifting capacity of the light aeroplane given certain wind speeds Also a consideration is the ground density.
Which Tie Down For What Ground Type?
Given landing strips and the grass rough airfields are not all the same you'd want to be prepared for whatever you come across...especially if you haven't had the luxury of research before your journey.
Soft ground will mean you'll need to tie down anchor deeper and or wider than a hard clay surface for example. For softer grounds the GroundGrabba Pro II would be the pick versus hard ground where the GroundGrabba Pro maybe better placed to work for you.
Again, you'll need to weigh up the number and type of light aircraft tie down anchors you use based on several factors. But bottom line is that you'll want your light aircraft to stay grounded despite sudden wind gusts. So ...it's your call.
Different ground anchors require different deployment methods but to make it easy for the pilot a cordless drill or impact wrench is generally used because old hammer in stakes are no longer in vogue nor can they grip as well as the screw in variety or ground anchors.
There's a choice of which light aircraft ground anchor tie downs to choose from. There is the GroundGrabba Pro and GroundGrabba Pro II. As you can see both are different lengths and have different width flights/spirals. Ideally you'd want to carry both if you did not know what type of earth you will be anchoring your light aircraft down to.
The minimum you'd want to carry is three of each however if you want to be very sure you'd want to carry double that number along with ratchet tie down straps too.
Use a Bow Shackle To Link
For best linking of your tie down ratchet strap it's best use a bow shackle. Have the bow shackle under the collar of the GroundGrabba and then hook your ratchet strap into it. Make sure that if the planes wings flex and slacken the tie down ratchets that the ratchet hooks do not fall away and unhook from the bow shackles.
Weight of the GroundGrabba Pro is 230 grams whilst the GroundGrabba Pro II is 450 grams. Then you'll need to consider the weights of your ratchet straps, bow shackles, cordless drill and maybe the cordless battery charger too.