Hurricane Preparation - Aviation
Posted on September 14, 2018
We believe that every act of precaution is important and never too much to make sure your plane withstands strong winds and massive amounts of rain. Unless you belong to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (known as the Hurricane Hunters) you shouldn’t be flying out there under such conditions. Be safe!
Here are some quick tips to protect your plane if your in a hurricane area. For more in-depth hurricane planning check out AOPAs Guide (AOPA.org)
- If possible, hangar your aircraft in a well constructed facility. Check with the facility regarding the buildings hurricane wind rating.
- If you are going to tie down your aircraft, use either a nylon rope, Dracon ropes or chains. The FAA has some useful infographics on their website on how to tie it down. Make sure to download the PDF files with the instructions. Double-check the strength ratio and remember, tying down to solid ground is always better than grass or any soft surface
- Secure all doors and windows.
- Make sure all engine inlets, are closed.
- Consider deflating the tires or dig holes for the wheels
- Make sure to position your aircraft upwind from other aircraft and in an area with as few objects as possible that could blow into your aircraft. Position the aircraft nose into the wind. Check with local weather authorities about wind direction.
- Also make sure to secure external and internal controls, consider installing a gust lock to hold the controls in a neutral position.
- Call your airplane insurance and ask them about their precaution guidelines in preparing for a storm. You might want to take pictures of the plane before in case you need to submit claims for damages occurred after the storm.
- Do a self test of your aircrafts Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) and update your beacon registration online and add a note that your aircraft has been secured and is not in use during the hurricane.
- If you have a personal locator beacon self-test it and make sure it is ready for use. Having a PLB as a back-up can come in handy in a moment of need.
Please read more about safety tips for you and your family.