Lost hangar space-On Ramp for now. Thoughts?

edited May 2023 in General Discussion

This is a 2 year long story. Bottom line, since it took two years to finish my avionics/TurboPlus upgrade, the FBO gave my community hangar space away and I was told today I’m on the ramp until further notice.

Now, my plane has been hangared for decades and the original paint is outstanding sans leading edge chips. But since I’m a ramp rat now, I’m really concerned with how to keep it corrosion free and in good shape. Any ideas on how to keep it sanitary till hangar space is avail? Could be months to years, your guess is as good as theirs. Located in SE Georgia right now.

I have a Kennon Sunbrella cover that is in outstanding condition and sunshades as well. I’m manly worried about rain, hail, UV sunlight and mud dobbers.

I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.


  • Am slightly confused on the backstory and three scenarios come to mind:

    - The FBO collected your money for an empty slot in the hangar for the past two years.

    - The FBO collected your money for an empty allocation while double dipping by letting somebody else also pay and stay.

    - The FBO has not seen money for your space in the hangar for some time and held it as a matter of goodwill (or something to this effect).

    If the first two scenarios apply in any form, at a minimum this raises ethical questions. If it is the third scenario which also happens to have some language in the lease leading to termination for vacancy and / or non-payment for any reason, can see the FBO's perspective. Only possible saving grace for the third scenario is if the lease has mandatory notification times and they were not met. Then again, if your lease was written in the same manner as mine, it has more words to try and impress the lay person with jargon rather than maintain notable contract value.

    For a possible mitigation to tie-down, start asking around to see if there is anybody not currently using their space and see about subletting. I did the sublet route for a while and it worked out rather well until able to get a permanent space. Only downside to the sublet deals were that the plane had to do a bit of hangar and tie-down surfing.

    Another possible mitigation is the obvious of checking with other airfields. Granted that I am sure there is a reason for looking to stay at the current base, so moving elsewhere will just scratch the itch of getting cover until able to get shelter at home once again.

    Toward mud dobbers, those suckers will find a space and clog stuff even in a hangar.

  • I thought I was pretty clear. The plane was somewhere else for two years for avionics and I lost the slot in the community hangar. I was paying for the space but they cut me off because no plane, no space.

    Im now on the ramp Vs in the hangar. Not by my choice, by their choice. I actually paid for the space for months and months. But they decided someone else should not be denied with an empty space. So here we are.

    Im really trying to find tips on how to help prevent my plane from Turing into a POS on the ramp. It’s kinda like an inside dog that suddenly finds itself on the back porch.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • edited May 2023

    The primary issues are two, SUN and RAIN. Wind you can handle with good tie downs.

    SUN - have a look at Bruces Custom Covers. They have covers for virtually all of the aircraft surfaces. The fuselage covers help shade the avionics from greenhouse heat and interior fading. They can also help with rain and hail. A Rubbermaid chest with lid would help keep the covers when they are not being used. But you would have to have some discipline to put them on, and take them off.

    RAIN - again, covers would help but Pipers are known for their leak points. Check all drain holes and make sure they are clear, door seals work well, and windows properly caulked and sealed.

    Oh, and then there are the birds! I use to take a shopping bag of foam pieces around on shutdown plugging all the places birds can get in and build a nest. I took a nest of baby birds out of my wing tip, the only opening was that small one between the tip and the aileron!!

    A pitot cover should handle the mud daubers.

    SO, there is all that, or another hangar space within reasonable or slightly pushing it driving distance. For me, I am 1 hour and 20 minutes away from my hangar 7 months out of the year and 30 min. 5 months out of the year. It's bearable for the protection and extra living space. One last tip...not all hangar space is advertised in writing. It pays to network!



  • edited May 2023

    Yes, the 2 year gap was clear. So was the end result. Less clear was the in-between in terms of whether there was any actionable remedy. In any event, the focus now appears to simply fight forward.

    An additional thought for minimizing UV effects inside the cabin: window covers with the white side facing outward. Bruce's has them. Sales photos show silver, but the reverse side (not shown) is white. Reason for placing the white side outward is that the silver / chrome side actually absorbs heat and will create a localized hot spot between the cover and window. Cooked a couple rear view mirrors in the car by putting the silver side out until I realized the effect. Thought the first mirror was simply a fluke, until it occurred on the second vehicle.

    For the wasps, pitot system is probably too small for them, but not too small for other critters like spiders. So definitely agree with covering the pitot tube. Daubers is why I carry an illuminated mirror on an extension rod for checking the wheel wells and other under wing crevices. Secondary benefit to the mirror is spotting fluid leaks, wiring issues, and brake condition.

    Another factor is mice. Take a look into peppermint oil which is a favorite of the RV community for keeping them out of the rig. Especially if the new wiring has soy based insulation.

    If not already in the habit of gust lock, the seat-belt trick works well.

  • Not sure where you're located, or the veracity of the complaint. But I can say my sister is hangared at KSSI, and she tells me they have additional space available.

    Glynn County Airports (flygcairports.com)

  • Thanks for the lead. It’s a bit of a drive, but I’m curious what they are asking for hangars.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • Ive called around to a few airports within an hour drive. I’ve been laughed at more than once, told good frigging luck a few times and had one ask me how long I plan to own a plane for, because they have folks on the list for over 10years.

    I suppose I’m ramp trash for now.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • A long, l o n g, l o n g shot: some A&Ps are so busy, the have “access” to hangar or other protected space on an airport for temporary storage. Perhaps chatting with a few A&P s in the area might yield a lead. Also, towered airports sometimes publish a list of rental hangars and hangars for sale by private owners. You might check there as well. Also, if you are near any airports, even private, that have hangar homes on the field, sometimes the owner no longer has a plane and will rent it out. I mention these because I have found space for myself over the years using all these methods!

  • edited June 2023

    While considering inputs on poking around, might also revisit that drive to the coastline.

    Noticed that KSSI has a process and POCs for building private hangars on the field, which theoretically means there is room for expansion. Might even have an existing private hangar available for purchase. This path might prove quicker for getting back under roof if poking around does not work. Ok, sure, probably the most expensive path, but how strong is the need? And, once a closer-to-home roof is available, sell the KSSI hangar to recoup the original investment. Or rent it out if the numbers work.

    Just a thought among the dwindling alternatives.

  • I did call the FBO and also talked to three people on this list of local POCs. Nada, zilch, and there might be one for sale, but all in I’d be looking at darn near $1k a month to buy it. Prop tax, association fees, mortgage. Plus maybe a 45min - 1hr drive to get to it. That’s a tough pill to swallow.

    The BQK FBO told me Gulfstream is buying any and all hangars on the field and they absorbed some of those tenants to they are stuffed to the gills.

    Id think there is a real market opportunity for more hangar space but perhaps nobody is motivated to build more or has run out of terra firma.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • edited June 2023

    With that drive time, meh. Not really a factor. Current commute for me is at that level where planned take-off time from leaving home is up to 2 hours depending on pre-flight needs and whether it includes rush hour crazies.

    Yes, $1K a month at KSSI is a notable cost. Question is how much comes back upon future sale. Might even turn a real net profit. Given that there are property taxes in the equation, should have ability to look up sales values over the past 10 years to form a fuzzy impression of tomorrow's worth. Actually, the local association might have these numbers given that it looks like they are also de-facto brokers.

    Another factor is that the $1K effectively shrinks in terms of total sting given an intent to pay monthly for hangar space anyway. So the true sting is the difference. The sting lessens further given an increase of equity over time. Bonus is not getting kicked out of your own hangar just cause the plane needs some longer term love.

  • I just got removed from the extra MX hangar I have been in for several months. Flight school just bought 3 more planes so there will be one in 100 hour all the time and there is a Twin Comanche with no gear. It was shipped off and the only guy who rebuilds Twin Comanche gear and he had a heart attack and is not working. It has been in the main MX hangar for 6 months.

    I have a Bruce’s airplane cover for the cabin, it kinda protects agains water but was made when the plane still had an ADF antenna, it has a split on the top. I also have an engine warming cover for those cold days.

    I have waxed the entire plane with carnauba wax, as I recall it is a UV protectant. It does require rewaxing more often than Turtle Wax, but it smells much better.

    A warning for cab covers. My Arrow still has the emergency gear extender mast. That mast is very strong and can hold the cover when it becomes a sail while covering during a wind event. The thermometer will not hold the cover when it becomes a sail, it will crack your windshield. We call that a feature and custom modification. I now have a screw and rubber gasket held on by thin nut. Now used as my custom ice detector. My custom modification not only made the plane sleeker but safer, ice is now visible. I am trying not to buy a new windshield.

    You don’t have to be crazy to own an aircraft but it helps.

    1973 Arrow II factory AC removed

    G5’S, G275, GNX375 Still can get lost.

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