When the tornado ripped through the Sun ’n Fun grounds on March 31, Charles Stites’ first concern was for his friends who were camping near their airplanes in the Vintage parking area, “and then of my restored, award-winning 1949 Ryan Navion.”
“I rode out the storm in one of the big exhibit hangars, and with the rain still falling went to check on my friends. On the way there I saw many of the more than 70 damaged and destroyed airplanes. Once in the Vintage area I found that both my friends and my airplane had survived. Though the 90 mph winds had moved the tail of my plane when the tie-down rope stretched, my FlyTies were still firmly and completely in the ground and the airplane was saved. Nearby airplanes were destroyed, and I saw many instances of other types of tie downs that had failed. My FlyTies didn’t fail and didn’t come out of the ground. They worked as advertised, and because they did, I still have my classic Navion.”
Each year numerous airplanes are damaged by windstorms due to negligence and improper tie downs, according to company officials, who note that in almost every case, the damage could have been prevented. “Regardless of the inconvenience tie-downs might entail they should be used and used properly,” officials said. “The type and design is equally important. FlyTies do not leave reliability to chance. They have been proven in the field over and over by pilots who know that the cost of good tie-downs is negligible compared to the value of their plane.”
FlyTies, which has been in business for over 22 years, recently made several improvements to its products, officials added. First and most noticeable is the hub material. The hub is now machined out of zinc anodized aluminum. The weight increase is negligible and is more resistant to missed blows of a hammer, they said. Second, the weld penetration of the hex head to the 3/8” x 14” stake. This increase in tensile strength assures the almost effortless removal of each stake using the removal tool provided. The stakes have a combined vertical holding strength of 3,600 lbs. In addition, they have added plastic point protectors for the tip of each stake for safety when not in use. And finally, the weight is still under 6 lbs. for the complete kit.
Complete with ropes, removal tool, three aluminum hubs, and canvas tote bag, the complete kit is $109.95 + shipping.
For more information: www.flyties.com or 408-966-4365