Kennon Wind Spoilers:
An Interview with Ron Kensey, President of Kennon Aircraft Covers

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The loss of more than 200 G.A. aircraft at Florida airports from high winds in February, 1998, prompted Kennon Aircraft Covers to bring its newest aircraft protection product to market. "Kennon Wind Spoilers" consist of a row of soft fiber-filled spoilers sewn onto a strip of mesh that attaches to the wing with straps and quick-release fasteners. They stop the wing from generating lift in high winds, and help prevent the kind of tie-down breakage and aircraft upsets that took such an awful toll at Opa-Locka and North Perry. The new Wind Spoilers are similar to Kennon's classic Spoiler Mesh Wing Covers but with three big differences: they're less bulky, quicker to install and remove, and cost just $89 (compared with $295 for full covers). AVweb recently talked to Kennon's Ron Kensey about this new low-cost wind protection.

Wind damage in South Florida, Feb. 1998Ron, tell us about Kennon Wind Spoilers.

Your plane was made to fly.  If the wind is strong enough it will fly...with you or without you.  Tie downs can only hold a flying plane for so long.

When you say flying plane, I get the impression that you are talking about a plane that is off the ground...tethered to its tiedowns.

That is exactly what happens... right before the tiedowns break and the airplane winds up on its back.

So what do you suggest?

Spoiler Mesh CoversWe know for a fact that our Spoiler Mesh Wing covers save airplanes from flying without a pilot.   We get letters from grateful customers who share their stories.  One of those stories appeared recently in our article on wing covers.   So we know that slowing down the air movement over the top of the wing will prevent lift.  Your plane simply can't fly with our Spoiler Mesh Wing Covers installed.

In fact, much to my chagrin,  I have had customers tell me that they actually tried to get lift on the runway with our covers on the plane!   They called to say we were right: no matter what airspeed, they couldn't get lift.  Please don't try this at home, folks…it's not a real smart thing to do. I'd much rather hear about how our covers saved planes on the ground during a storm.

So tell us about Kennon Wind Spoilers...

Wind SpoilersIts the same concept as our Spoiler Mesh Wing Covers.  Except the soft fiber filled spoilers are sewn onto a strip of mesh that attaches around the wing with straps and quick release fasteners. This means you don't have to carry a bulky winter wing cover with you. Also, the Wind Spoilers are quicker to install and remove than the full covers.

A lot more economincal too, we suppose?

Considerably so. The full wing covers cost $295 a set. We are pricing a set of Wind Spoilers at just $89, in hopes that they will eventually be on board every plane that is tied down out of doors.

I'm sure you'd like that.

Flipped twins
I'm serious.  A set of Wind Spoilers should be as commonplace as tie down ropes and wheel chocks.  If you are tied down facing into the wind with your Wind Spoilers installed, wouldn't you want the plane upwind of you to also have Wind Spoilers?  More than one customer has told us that since they started using our Spoiler Mesh Wing Covers, their biggest worry is about other guy's plane breaking free from its tiedowns and smashing into theirs during a wind storm.

What are you telling your customers with low-wing aircraft?

The pictures that came in from the recent Florida wind disaster included some pretty heavy low-wings (including twins) that ripped loose from their tiedowns and flipped over. It's not just a problem for high-wing aircraft.

This winter, we are telling all of our customers to expect the unexpected.   Weather conditions are not typical of the conditions that we have seen in the past.  As a Weather Channel junkie, I can tell you that things aren't about to settle down any time soon.

Thanks, Ron.

Cessna 180 with covers installed