This is my first post to COPA. With my partner, over the past 2 years I have owned a SR22 G2 and a SR22 TAT (of course) TN G3. I have benefitted greatly from the knowledge of many of the frequent contributors to COPA. Being a COPA member has saved me considerable money and made me a safer Cirrus driver for sure. I really appreciate it. The $50 you spend on a COPA membership will easily be the best money you spend on Cirrus ownership.
Usually, I don’t have much to add as so many others are more knowledgeable. On your question maybe I can help some. Our hangar is tight with about 6" on either side. For nearly two years we used a riding lawn mower to push our plane in for the past to years. Cirri don’t push well. As a former line attendant in my youth, I think the Cirrus is the hardest plane to push I have ever moved. The tractor was scary. In the winter, the tires spun on ice, wet pavement, and sometimes dry pavement. Control was limited. It sometimes took several tries to get our Cirrus back in the nest.
I also had the opportunity to use a gas powered tow bar. The tires spun on that going up our slope and on ice it was worthless. Something needed to be done. I didn’t want to go flying anymore because of the difficulty getting the plane in the hangar.
So, I searched COPA and found some threads on winches and learned a few things. Then, I started collecting parts.
First I needed a winch. I went to Harbor Freight but couldn’t find anything I liked. I found a Dutton refurbished winch (normally $399) on the Dutton website http://www.dutton-lainson.com/proddetail.php?prod=25538 for $140. It was strong enough and fast enough. With shipping it was $150 and I had it in 3 days. What a deal!
The refurbished models are not always available on the website. I had to check back over the course of several days to find one. But the one I got is just like new. May sure you get the AC version with a clutch.
We already had a nice Aero Tow tow bar, to which we added a couple of 1" pieces of steel tubing painted up in yellow like the tow bar. To the steel tubing we added a couple of eye bolts. Total cost maybe $20 without the tow bar.
The winch didn’t have enough wire rope, but I had some 1/4" spectra like rope lying around, so we wound a hundred feet of that on the winch. It is easier to work with than wire cable, and plenty strong.
To the rope we attached a 18" crossmember so we could run more rope, covered in plastic tubing, up to the eye bolts where it is attached to the tow bar with carbiners. Total cost about $15.
The remote cable to the winch wasn’t going to be long enough, and we didn’t like the idea of messing with the cable, so we got on Amazon and purchased a Skylink remote for $25. http://www.amazon.com/Skylink-WS-100N-Wireless-Control-Channel/dp/B00008X5D5/ref=pd_ts_zgc_hi_495324-b_2?ie=UTF8&s=hi&pf_rd_p=1273266542&pf_rd_s=right-5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=507846&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=095160WJ6HAQJHYJ15YK We rewired the switch in the remote cable to always be on and plugged the winch into the remote box, which is the small grey box you can see attached to the side of the winch. (One thing about this particular remote is that once you switch on or off you must wait 1-2 sec before pushing the button again.)
We mounted the winch to the floor under the aircraft for several reasons 1) keep the winch out of the way. 2) if something goes wrong the winch can only pull the rope to the crossmember, so the plane will never be pulled through the back wall of the hangar, and 3) to keep the remote key fob closer to the remote box.
We also mounted a couple of chocks on the floor. If the plane were to go over the first one, it would stop on the second one before the wheel pant hit the winch. The cross member will hit the winch before the plane can be pulled over the second chock.
Works like a charm. I no longer dread coming home to my hangar. Hope this helps. Stan