Are there standard ground-tether systems for unpowered aircraft?

New Alexandria
  • Are there standard ground-tether systems for unpowered aircraft? New Alexandria

    Do grounding systems have any standards or conventions? Is tethering specified in any way?

    I can understand the engineering aspects of the question, but I am wondering about regulation or convention.

    .....I have a suspicion that any kind of formal or experimental craft / flyer is probably not regulated, so long as it doesn't 'escape' and remain in the air while it drifts into a controlled airspace.


    1. I've participated in many balloon flights, and have never seen anything specific with this, so I suspect the answer is too simple ('no') or that this question is otherwise not well formatted
    2. this question may be too close to the history of experimental-craft
    3. I would appreciate help with proposing tags for this question

  • In the United States moored balloons (or kites) are governed under Part 101 of the FARs (a much neglected and very short corner of the regulations that also covers amateur rocketry and "unmanned free balloons" -- looking at your profile it's probably a section you'd find very interesting!).

    In this particular case you're probably looking for Subpart B - Moored Balloons and Kites.


    The FAA is mum on the specific engineering requirements of mooring systems - I expect they anticipate you will work with structural and mechanical engineers to design a tethering system that can safely hold the loads your moored object will place on it (or just tie it to the biggest, most structurally secure thing you can find, with a nice heavy rope and a proper knot).

    There are a few things they ARE pretty specific about though.

    • Some operating limitations (altitude, size, location, visibility).
    • The fact that you have to tell them about it in advance
      (At least if it's more than 150 feet AGL, per 14CFR101.15)
    • Lighting and marking requirements for the tether(s)
      (14CFR101.17, which basically says the mooring line must have pennants (daytime) and/or lights (nighttime) to ensure visibility)
    • What happens to Balloons if the tether breaks
      (14CFR101.19, which basically says if the balloon breaks free of its moorings you need a "rapid deflation device" that gets it down in a hurry so it's not just wandering around up there).

    Interestingly they don't seem to care so much if a kite escapes its moorings.

Tags
Related questions and answers
  • Do grounding systems have any standards or conventions? Is tethering specified in any way? I can understand the engineering aspects of the question, but I am wondering about regulation or convention. .....I have a suspicion that any kind of formal or experimental craft / flyer is probably not regulated, so long as it doesn't 'escape' and remain in the air while it drifts into a controlled airspace. I've participated in many balloon flights, and have never seen anything specific with this, so I suspect the answer is too simple ('no') or that this question is otherwise not well

  • Here are a few thoughts: 'Real' accidents happen much too seldom to be of any real measure, and they would have to be compensated for the number of passenger kilometers as well to be objective. Large airlines may have be involved in more accidents, but they have more aircraft. Many airlines low down on the reports had accidents many years ago. Avherald and the like may be good sources but emphasize that they don't report on all accidents. Different jurisdictions have different reporting requirements. What is a fair and unbiased method of measuring airline safety?

  • These are calculations which I use to know when to descend and the Rate: Multiply the ALT of feet to lose by 3 and $Groundspeed\div2\times10$ will give you your required rate of descent for a 3° glide slope. For example: FL350 to FL100 => 25,000 ft down $25\times3=75$, so start at 75 nm GS = 320 kts => $320\div2\times10=1,600$ => -1,600 fpm is your desired rate of descent. How do I calculate without using tangents for degrees, other than 3: 2,5; 4; 5 ...? In my last question I got it wrong, even though through math the answer was correct.

  • I have a question regarding this Missed Approach Procedure Im in my final approach segment and reach DME 1.1 and the runway is not in sight so I start my Missed approach, how should it be executed? Since I have to hold I'd start a tear drop entry turning to heading 125° and then left turn intercepting 275° course inbound. This option sounds viable to me I first do a right 360° as charted (???) and going to the VOR and then starting probably a parallel entry into the hold. This doesn't sound viable to me Textual description is also clear about that 360° If it 1.) why would they chart

  • I was looking at potential experimental projects when I read this fascinating website about a tiny aerobatic-capable twin-engine airplane. It's light enough to be an ultralight, but much too fast: Aside from the obvious fun of flying this little plane, I wondered whether: I'd be able to log time in the Cri-Cri as multi-time? My guess is yes. Assuming I'm MEL-IFR, could I log multi-IFR with a two-way radio, altimeter, Dynon-type AI, HI and at least one cert. VOR & glide slope? An approach cert. GPS setup would be too heavy I assume. My guess is this is wishful thinking...

  • Are airspace violations (e.g. entry to class B without clearance) based on primary radar and/or Mode C transponder, or something else? I read that Mode C altitude is based on pressure altitude, i.e., set to 29.92" ... but presumably that's adjusted at the ATC facility based on the current pressure before being used for altitude enforcement. This begs the question, what would stop one (hypothetically), just winding back the altimeter pressure reading to appear to be at a lower altitude? So to summarize: How are airspace violations detected: What data input is used? If Mode C reading

  • I was looking through my virtual radar logs one of the days and found this "glitchy" ADS-B behavior. I am almost 100% sure that this is not due to my antenna or setup since two independent different radars confirmed this weird behavior from FlightRadar24. Also A/C before and after this one did not exhibit this behavior. Does anybody have any thoughts as to what may be happening??? Why... of occurrence is approximately: 3/16/2014 6:09pm CST I have also verified FlightAware is ALSO showing the same weird glitch. See below "yellow" highlighted airplane: Same A/C from FlightRadar24

  • Another enthusiast question. I watch a lot of the National Geographic Channel's "Air Crash Investigation", for better or worse, and it seems accident investigators make tremendous use of the Cockpit... technology for maintenance data (and I think I recall hearing Boeing does too), I was wondering if either Airbus, Boeing, or the FAA, plan to facilitate or mandate that the CVR and FDR record... have any idea if there are plans for CVR and FDR data to be transmitted and recorded to the cloud or a remote location?

  • As a thought experiment, imagine a plane with minimal fuel/appliances on board with hundreds of heavy passengers that make up say 10% of the weight of the plane. Now imagine that they have a way to synchronize a jump where temporarily for 0.5s they are airborne in relation to the plane. (NOTE: If idea of so many heavy passengers is troublesome to you, assume this is a cargo carrier with spring loaded "widgets" that have ability to be programmed to "jump" at once.) Questions: Can flight dynamics be affected due to the jump at ANY phase of the flight? What % of the typical (cargo/passanger

  • plane was fine, and I can't find any Part 61 regulations that are specific to experience in one make/model aside from adding an experimental aircraft as part §61.63(h)(1), which is what I assume...I'm a student pursuing a US Private Pilot License, and recently scheduled my checkride. I've been training in a 1981 Piper Warrior (PA-28-161), but if its annual goes sour I may have to take my club's 1980 Piper Archer (PA-28-181). I have well over §61.109's 40 hours in the Warrior alone, and only ~10 hours in the Archer. I have a separate club checkout and CFI solo endorsement for each

Data information