bob865

Moving your plane without permission

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I want to get your guy's opinion on something that happened today.  I'm going to try to stick to the facts so my opinion doesn't influence yours.

My plane lives on a tie down.  Please hold off on the comments about why I need a hangar.  I know all the pros and cons of a hangar, but I can't move myself up the 7 yrs waiting list any faster. :) I flew yesterday and was lucky enough to get front row parking which is rare because with all the ins and outs of the flight school they usually get all the front row parking.  I went out to fly again this morning and my plane was not where I parked it and tied it down yesterday.  It was now on a back row and the front row is now full of the flight school planes.  The flight school does have a tug and I have regularly seen them towing their planes around the ramp.  The FBO, not the airport commission, controls the ramp parking and there are no reserved parking spots.

What would your reaction be if the above happened to you?

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I’d be annoyed. I’ve had my nose gear truss bent by folks who didn’t know about Mooney tow limits... might go have a chat with the manager...


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Without knowing all the particulars, is my understanding the FBO has the right to do with what they want on the ramp. I have specifically told them not to touch my plane, and I have come out to find it moved. I politely talked to the FBO and ask them why they moved it and went against my wishes. I explained to them why I did not want the airplane touched due to turn limits.
Did they understood, and it is never happened again.
Since that time, I make it a point to park in the back so that it doesn't get moved. I specifically ask them to do that. it's a bit of a hassle walking all the way across the ramp, but that's okay with me.
My advice is to talk to the FBO, explain your concerns about moving your aircraft without your permission, especially as a Mooney owner, and come up with a solution together.



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I'd be upset that someone moved my plane without authorization. Confirm with the FBO that they have authority over parking before confronting the flight school. I'd approach it from the fact that the flight school is used to moving Cessnas and may not know how easy it is to bend the front strut of a Mooney (plus they can't move private planes that aren't part of the school).

Fly Safe,
Safety Forum Mod

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What is the normal procedure there?  Most places I've been with monthly tie downs have assigned spots.  Around here, most won't move a plane out of its assigned spot or even tighten a loose tie down before a storm out of a purported liability concern.

If the lease is first come first serve and you were there, then they should not have touched your plane.  If you parked in their place it might be a little different.

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I'd ask around and find out who moved it and why and then have the discussion from there.

 

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Early in that conversation. be sure to emphasize to them that when you parked, you had every reason to believe the plane would not be moved.  And your safety procedures may dictate use of the parking brakes.  How did they confirm that the parking brake was not set before moving the plane?  Unless it is posted that all planes must be parked with the brake off.  The school may have that procedure, but not everyone would.  

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Here is my recent experience as a frequent tie-down guy at an airport I visit often.  The airport is in a highly touristed area.  There are tie down fees for ramp.  They are collected “intermittently” by the airport manager.  I had completed my prep and was IN THE PLANE.  We had two dogs.  It was hot.  I had purchased 30 gallons of fuel when I arrived prior to tie down.  Guy I have never met ambles over with a lab pup and after about a minute broaches the fee.  My wife paid.  I explained who I was and that we visit often and always take on fuel.  In the future it will be a CC transaction...

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4 hours ago, bob865 said:

What would your reaction be if the above happened to you?

Reach your fingers on the truss and feel for dents. This is critical. I check it from time to time and always before someone might move it.

2 hours ago, RogueOne said:

In the future it will be a CC transaction...

I hope you asked for a receipt. That guy might be pocketing the cash. I've heard shady stories of DNR park staff walking up to people dumping their campers black tank (even though they had an annual state park permit) and demanding cash to dump if they were not staying overnight at the camp ground. I doubt that cash ever made it to the till.

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1) Did you ask if there are any rules for parking? (Normal question for every time you park a plane in a less than familiar spot)

2) School planes often get the most convenient spots...

3) Schools don’t usually mark their spots to make it obvious...

4) The Best question to ask... where can I park my plane so it will be here when I get back?

5) Do you not have an assigned tie down? Top priority, so you know who is around you...

6) Most owners I know, tie down in the least favored spaces... this keeps the school planes from parking next to you... with all the wackiness new pilots bring with them...

 

yeah, i’m Old... see what you did, and telling you you could do better... or you can try and change the world to make it more convenient for you... :)

Why would you put your plane next to all the unknowns, then worry about who moved it?

a bent truss is a minimal problem compared to having somebody bend your plane by running into it...

PP thoughts only, I have the experience of a new owner running into things...

Best regards,

-a-

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Get 1 of those kyptonite or similar “U shapes” bike locks and tie a “do not tow” to it (my solution away from home) it slides thru truss. Impossible to get tow bar thru. I also have my phone number written in case it needs to be moved they know who to call. 

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Had sort of an opposite thing happen once.   Went with a buddy in his Cherokee to a FAAST meeting, and got told to park among the local large flight school's airplanes.   Since we weren't going to be there long, we didn't tie it down, and went to the meeting.   When we came back out it was still in the same spot, but somebody had tied it down, pretty nicely, too.   We figured the students probably got yelled at if they left airplanes out unsecured or somebody's OCD kicked in.   We didn't mind.  ;)

 

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Check your nose truss.  If there are dents, you get a new one for free.

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Nothing unusual about this, nothing to be upset about (unless your truss is dented but probably not), but maybe I've just been flying a long time because I've seen this all the time. FBO's move AC all the time when its their ramp and its not reserved parking spaces. As Anthony said, the question to ask is where can you park it so that it won't be moved?  That's always my first question to avoid it being towed. 

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Thanks for the feedback everyone.  I did check the truss first thing before I flew.  No damage.  Now that I've had some feedback, I'll add my 2 cents.   I feel pretty sure that it was the flight school that moved my plane, not the FBO.  I'm fine with the FBO moving the plane.  Matter of fact, as I see it, I really can't complain even it I didn't like the FBO moving my plane because they 'own' the ramp and need to do what they need to do.  They also carry insurance to cover incidents.  I know insurance won't prevent my plane from getting damaged, but it will prevent my wallet from getting damaged.

I sent an e-mail yesterday afternoon to the FBO manager with my concerns.  I asked if there was any reserved parking for clarification.  I then told them my concern was damage to my plane.  That someone familiar with towing their cessnas around is likely not going to know about the truss issues that can come with improper towing of a Mooney.  I iterated that the FBO is the only ones on the field with permission to tow my plane and that should it need to be moved for any reason, the FBO needs to be the ones to do it.  I also iterated that moving a plane for prefered parking is not accepable in any environment no matter who moves the plane.  I sent an e-mail becuase it was a sunday afternoon.  If I haven't hear by early afternoon today, I'll give them a call too.  We'll see what happens next.

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I'm a bit confused.  Are you a tenant or stopping in at an FBO?  If you are the FBOs tenant, a talk about - please don't move my plane, where can we park it so you don't do that, is easy enough to do.  I actually do that whenever I stop over at an FBO too.  And if where they put me isn't where the plane can be, I see if we can move it while I'm there.  I understand that as a transient every now and again they might have to move my plane out of the way, but I always brief the line guy and the counter about moving it and ask that they don't unless they have to.

Its quite a different story if this is a monthly situation.  In that case, you should have a place and/or an understanding.  And I'd rather not park by the flight school anyway.  All those planes moving in and out and getting pushed around by students are a higher risk than being in the back corner  Sure, I have to walk an extra 5 minutes to get to the plane but I'd choose that.

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Just for the record   I can see the flight school moving a plane so they don't have to worry about one of their students wacking it and having you mad at them for that.

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Why not mark the area...transient parking...school parking..etc?

Or have a “follow me” cart?

I always assume transient parking is right in front of the FBO.


Tom

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My guess is one of the schools CFI's had one of the FBO's line crew move it. If that's the case I would go by and have the FBO manager call the Flight School manager over for a little unscheduled meeting.

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15 hours ago, MooneyMartian9 said:

Get 1 of those kyptonite or similar “U shapes” bike locks and tie a “do not tow” to it (my solution away from home) it slides thru truss. Impossible to get tow bar thru. I also have my phone number written in case it needs to be moved they know who to call. 

Now that is a good idea!!!  I have a “ do not tow” flag for the nose but that would really solve the problem.  I’m going to target and getting a bike lock.

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Just heard back from the FBO Manager.  They confirmed there is no reserved parking and will be addressing this with the flight school to make sure it doesn't happen to me or anyone else again.

Many of you pointed out the risk of putting my plane up front around all the flight school planes.  I may not park up there anymore anyway now that I've got that on the mind.  However I feel better that moving planes around for no good reason is being addressed and stopped.

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Bob - maybe you should email the flight school asking for a copy of their insurance should they damage your plane in the future.  Not that you need a copy, but just to make a point.

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On 8/18/2019 at 1:31 PM, bob865 said:

What would your reaction be if the above happened to you?

As an Italian from northern NJ, ........never mind

 

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