Death Valley takes my Wing

Published by: Peter Owens on 30th Mar 2017 | View all blogs by Peter Owens

I'm in the need of a new wing for my Tanarg.

Left Oregon in my Toyhauler with my trike on a trip down to Death Valley last week for some nice warm flying as I done before in the spring. We camp at Stovepipe Wells .It has an airstrip next to it. It is always amazing to drive down the East side of the Cascades and Sierras through snow and ice all the way and to literally go from freezing to 80 degrees in the last hour of driving. This year it was hitting 90 when we got there.  I noticed a lot of Lennies in the sky so knew there were high winds aloft.

But the mornings were warm and calm and could fly around the valley in shorts and flipflops so all was great. The winds though would start to pick up from the south by 11. One morning my wife Theresa and I were flying to Furnace Creek to get some groceries but the wind was already starting to kick in from the south so we hightailed back to Stove Pipe and tied down the trike.

We drove to Furnace Creek and were having lunch at their golf course (It just seems wrong to have a golf course in Death Valley). But at least you can sit outside and eat. And the winds just kept picking up. It was starting to hit 30+ on the ground and I was just getting nervous about my Trike. Headed directly back to the airstrip and all was well. Still blowing like stink from the south, just tightened everything and headed back to camp. All good.

Back at Camp shortly thereafter the wind calms. First time in the afternoon it had done that. A friend stops by and we talk about taking him for a flight later.

We are sitting outside having a beer AND That is when the SCIROCCO hits!!!

A dust storm comes off the playa to the North and just rips through camp. Canopies are snapping off campers. Tents are blowing away. It’s now howling 40 FROM THE NORTH!!!. We race out to the airstrip (can’t even see the road for the dust storm) and get out there to see my trike flipped over. Ones wings webbing used for tying down was snapped. Yikes. One still intact. Stood out there for 1/2 hour caked in dust trying to keep it from scooting down the runway.

Soooo...  one Trike's wheel Pant broken, some fiberglass rash. But otherwise intact. (still have to go through it.) The wing though is toast. Keel broken. Sail shredded.

Lesson learned. When it the desert, whatever it takes, tie the tail down to something. I could have used a long tie to a parallel cable that was there for tie down.


So- now I'm in the market for a wing, new or used, for my Tanarg. Please contact me if you have something to sell.



  • Jozinko Sajan
    by Jozinko Sajan 1 year ago
    I am so sorry for gamage of your wing. My friend had a similar accident. A strong gusty wind broken his webbing. But it was here in Europe and he sent the wing to AC factory for repair.
  • roger larson
    by roger larson 1 year ago
    What kind of wing do you want. King post or strutted?
  • John Olson
    by John Olson 1 year ago
    Pedro, forgive me for asking the obvious, but why in the world didn't you crouch the wing down on the base tube?

    One of the selling points of the Tanarg that Air Creation was touting, at least back when I was selling them, is how easy it is--effortless really--to raise and lower the wing. Even more effective is to remove the wing entirely, lay it flat on the ground, drop the kingpost and the dive sticks, and then park the trike on top of the wing with the brake set. Not even a hurricane can budge it then. Well... maybe next time!
  • Todd Halver
    by Todd Halver 1 year ago

    I have a BioniX 13 custom wing for sale. Send me you contact info at and we can connect.
  • John Olson
    by John Olson 1 year ago
    Well anyway, in case there's any triker out there who is unaware; if you crouch your wing down on the base tube and tie it down like that it is much more stable in a big wind.
  • Damien B
    by Damien B 1 year ago
    One thing I like about the Northwing is the ease of dropping the wing in cases such as this. BTW, does anyone know how to get links to work just like "links" ??
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 1 year ago
    Damien, if you are uploading to the videos then use the embed code.
  • John Olson
    by John Olson 1 year ago
    Damien, no doubt it is easy to drop. Gravity... But how about raising it again oof!
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