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  #1  
Old 02-13-2021, 10:59 AM
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Jvon811 Jvon811 is offline
 
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Default Desert Camping/High Sierra Fly-In questions

Got my ticket for HSF 2021! A friend and I are planning on taking our RV-4's from Wisconsin and Michigan (respectively) out to Nevada in October for the event. I've never had the RV out west, I'm excited.

If you're not familiar, the High Sierra Fly-In is primarily a STOL competition and camping fly-in event on the Deadcow Lake bed just north of Reno, NV.

I'm ignorant on dust flying... Is there anything special to know about the dust with regards to the airplanes? I had heard the type of dust from Deadcow and similar dry lake bed's is particularly corrosive and obviously gets everywhere. Is rinsing the airplane off with clean water enough once I get back home? How is everyone protecting the airplanes? (besides cowl plugs, etc, etc...) Has anyone experienced significant "sand blasting" on their aircraft finish from sitting on that surface for a few days? Or am I overthinking this?

My plan so far is to coat whatever I can with a spray can of ACF-50 before I go. Heavy use of cowl plugs, canopy cover, and tape to cover what I can while attending. Then thoroughly disassemble and wash the airplane with clean water when I get home. I think that's enough.
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Last edited by Jvon811 : 02-13-2021 at 11:03 AM. Reason: syntax and fat finger grammar...
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2021, 01:02 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
 
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In my ongoing attempts to keep the record straight, the dry lakebed is officially known as Flannigan Dry Lake.



I would think that spraying ACF-50 would be a disaster, just an oily coating that the dust will stick to like a magnet.

Unless you are unlucky enough to have a massive wind event, there is really not much blowing dust. I would tape all the seams on the airplane to keep the dust out of the inside, and just hose it off when you get home.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2021, 01:23 PM
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I'm sure the ACF-50 will collect dust, but more importantly have created a barrier that I can rinse off later. Maybe... just spitballing. I was just curious if anyone had experience with that sort of thing.
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2021, 02:53 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Last year (or was it the year before? I can’t remember....) they had a pretty big wind event that caused a day or two of low visibility due to blowing dust. That lakebed can be as bad as the Black Rock, where they hold Burning Man, and that place is known for gypsum dust that gets into everything and can stay in little cracks for years. I think ACS-50 would be a bad idea because it would be hard to clean out afterwards - it is sort of oily and would require some kind of solvent to fully remove. Meanwhile, it holds the grit in suspension and makes a nice cutting compound.....

Back in the earliest days of the Space Shuttle program, we landed Columbia on the Gypsum lakebed in New Mexico. The recovery plans weren’t well developed, and it ended up sitting on the lakebed for a couple of weeks before a crane lifted it onto the back of the 747 to cart it out of there. A decade and many missions later, we were still having thruster valve problems due to the contamination from that exposure.

All that said, we occasionally land our planes on those lake beds, and I haven’t had any issues - but we don’t go when the winds are going to be blowing the dust around. That’s an easy call for us, as we live with those lake beds all around us, and its easy just to stay home. If I got caught in such a dust storm, I’d probably end up stripping a lot of stuff out of the plane so that I could hose it down well. Taping any cracks in advance would probably be a good idea. Pretend you’re going to be racing at Reno, and tape all cowling seams and similar openings.

Just some things to consider.....

Paul
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2021, 05:09 PM
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I went in 2019 (2020 did not happen). There was a 12 Million dollar Pilatus jet that landed there. I don't think they did anything special.

The wind storm was rough. You need to take goggles and a facemask. If I did not have those items, life would have really sucked. It is often windy there. 3 days of getting beat up by the wind. Think of it this way, 3 days of 25 kt winds with baby powder in the air blowing.

I would not spray any oil on any surface, that will turn into a mess. When we got home, we cleaned the plane. No issues.

You will need good tie downs and good canopy cover that does not go into flutter with the wind. if you allow it to flutter, the canopy will be destroyed. better off not to put one on. I am taking the new plane out there. Although the RV is way capable of landing on the lake, the new ride is more adapted for that environment.
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2021, 07:07 PM
Taltruda Taltruda is offline
 
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I was there too in 2019. Saturday was so windy, if you don’t have ski goggles and a face mask, you couldn’t see or breathe! I wouldn’t use a canopy cover, as the sand may get under it and scratch it all up. There was a twin that had Saran Wrap all over it, sealing out the dust, that seemed like a good idea! Definitely bring some good tie downs like the Claw or better.. be careful landing out in the middle, it’s easy to lose depth perception like a glassy water landing.
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2021, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taltruda View Post
There was a twin that had Saran Wrap all over it, sealing out the dust, that seemed like a good idea!
Good idea. If I were going, I’d bring a roll of pallet wrap. I used it when trailering the project to the hanger.
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2021, 08:49 PM
lndwarrior lndwarrior is offline
 
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Default The man...

Back in the earliest days of the Space Shuttle program, we landed Columbia on the Gypsum lakebed in New Mexico.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get a huge kick out of that statement on an internet forum? Knowing, of course, that is completely legit...

You're the man, Paul!
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2021, 10:24 PM
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Jvon811 Jvon811 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AX-O View Post
Think of it this way, 3 days of 25 kt winds with baby powder in the air blowing.
Wow, is it that fine of dust? I imagined it was like salty sand blowing around. Like is said, Michigander... Ignorant of desert flying. ACF-50 would be pretty useless against that fine of dust collecting for a few days.

Sounds like plastic wrap, blue painters tape, and a good hosing off when I get home is the way to go. I'd hate to end up with Thruster Valve problems later on

Hopefully I can finally meet some of these west coast names I've been reading on VAF for a few years out there. I'm looking forward to HSF.
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2021, 10:47 PM
Taltruda Taltruda is offline
 
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I wouldn’t go there again with something that I really cared for.. maybe stop in, but not to stay the weekend..it’s really dirty!
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