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Posted: 4/13/2010 2:09:17 PM EDT
Anyone here tow banners? What does it take to get started? I've read of a few banner plane crashes; how dangerous is it?
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 3:06:06 PM EDT
[#1]
Don't know much about that industry but found this. Looks like there making good money now with the corporate type sponsors buying ad space rather then the personal ads.





Link Posted: 4/13/2010 5:44:34 PM EDT
[#2]
Quoted:
Anyone here tow banners? What does it take to get started? Commercial rating, an airplane that will pull it and its rigged up to pull them (we used a Cessna 170), and a banner towing waiver.

I've read of a few banner plane crashes; how dangerous is it? I dont really know but I dont think its that dangerous.


My dad did it for a while and I used to help him make banners and lug all that shit out to airports.

Its a pretty interesting deal, but its also time consuming and somewhat hard to find customers. We quit in like 2002 and back then it was $400/hr and Ive heard its over $600 now. People just dont want to pay that, but if you are the kind of guy that would be good at lining up businesses and companies that you might be more successful. Our best customers were car dealerships and political organizations.

You wouldnt by chance want to buy a bunch of letters, poles, and a cable and hook would you?

Oh and if you only take one thing from this post....make all politicians pay upfront!
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 6:14:57 PM EDT
[#3]
My dad's cousin & husband owned an FBO and had an aerial advertising fleet of mostly Citabrias (and the occasional Maule, Ag-Cat, Cessna, etc.) near the Jersey Shore.  Banners helped put three kids through college and helped them live quite comfortably.



On the Jersey Shore, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend is prime banner-towing season.  During that time, the beach seems like it ought to be Class B airspace due to the banners alone!
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 6:18:50 PM EDT
[#4]
Quoted:
My dad's cousin & husband owned an FBO and had an aerial advertising fleet of mostly Citabrias (and the occasional Maule, Ag-Cat, Cessna, etc.) near the Jersey Shore.  Banners helped put three kids through college and helped them live quite comfortably.

On the Jersey Shore, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend is prime banner-towing season.  During that time, the beach seems like it ought to be Class B airspace due to the banners alone!


Yeah I bet there is money to be made in places like that, not really so much in middle Illinois. We made real good money at the state fair one year, and did a couple baseball games. I remember though one reason we got out of it was there were some extra rules after 9/11 that kinda prohibited us from being in business anymore, but those may have been temporary things that are gone now.
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 8:16:02 PM EDT
[#5]
They are active in the Houston area.  A newspaper writeup said the guy made 600K last year.  Mostly car dealers.  I remember one got killed down in south Texas couple years back. I think they were trying to use a C-150. WJ
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 6:13:21 AM EDT
[#6]
Anyone know the approximate size/weight limit and average size/weights of banners?
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 6:23:28 AM EDT
[#7]
IIRC the letters are 5feet tall; I remember we could tow a 25 letter banner. It wasnt all that heavy really, Id guess it was like 30 pounds ~ish. We still have one made up at home I could put on the scale when I get home from work if you want.

It wasnt the weight, it was the drag. I remember my dad said when you pick it up off the ground it was like deploying a drag chute. (And there is a little envelope at the end to help keep the tail of the banner up so it reads straight across and not at a downward angle.
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 10:35:33 AM EDT
[#8]



Quoted:


IIRC the letters are 5feet tall; I remember we could tow a 25 letter banner. It wasnt all that heavy really, Id guess it was like 30 pounds ~ish. We still have one made up at home I could put on the scale when I get home from work if you want.



It wasnt the weight, it was the drag. I remember my dad said when you pick it up off the ground it was like deploying a drag chute. (And there is a little envelope at the end to help keep the tail of the banner up so it reads straight across and not at a downward angle.


Tail flag.



Did your father tow with the 140?



Our cousins mostly use stripped Citabrias.  One seat, no door, no radio (use a handheld), lots of nothing.  These airplanes are certificated in the Restricted category.



 
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 10:37:14 AM EDT
[#9]
Quoted:
IIRC the letters are 5feet tall; I remember we could tow a 25 letter banner. It wasnt all that heavy really, Id guess it was like 30 pounds ~ish. We still have one made up at home I could put on the scale when I get home from work if you want.

It wasnt the weight, it was the drag. I remember my dad said when you pick it up off the ground it was like deploying a drag chute. (And there is a little envelope at the end to help keep the tail of the banner up so it reads straight across and not at a downward angle.


That's be awesome :-) And you did this with a Cessna 170? I've just been thinking that since I'm buying a plane, have less-then-plane-loan-worthy credit, and will likely have to pay cash for a plane that's a little less than what I was wanting, I might as well reserve the option to fly a banner around to share my opinions
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 10:43:26 AM EDT
[#10]
Quoted:

Did your father tow with the 140?  


170B
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 10:45:38 AM EDT
[#11]



Quoted:



Quoted:



Did your father tow with the 140?  




170B


I knew it was one of those old Cessnas.




Was that Continental O-360 powered?  6-cylinder?



 
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 11:32:15 AM EDT
[#12]
Quoted:

Quoted:
Quoted:

Did your father tow with the 140?  


170B

I knew it was one of those old Cessnas.

Was that Continental O-360 powered?  6-cylinder?
 


O-300.

145 HP @10gal/hr. Not all the efficient.
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 11:54:52 AM EDT
[#13]
Dangerous as hell.

Engine failure or hung banner means death.
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 1:14:46 PM EDT
[#14]
Quoted:
Dangerous as hell.

Engine failure or hung banner means death.


Hung banner? You mean if it doesn't release?
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 1:33:21 PM EDT
[#15]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Dangerous as hell.

Engine failure or hung banner means death.


Hung banner? You mean if it doesn't release?


Yeah, should have written and

Link Posted: 4/17/2010 8:50:09 PM EDT
[#16]
Link Posted: 4/18/2010 5:21:20 AM EDT
[#17]
Quoted:
I tugged banners with Cessna 172's and a Piper Pawnee - up to 40 letters!  That was too many letters and I told the operator to knock that crap off.  It paid $25 per hour, and I didn't have to touch the set up, just fly.



Oh c'mon. Half the fun is spending hours on your knees in the basement connecting all those damn little hooks from the poles to the letters.
Link Posted: 4/18/2010 6:20:25 AM EDT
[#18]
I pulled banners in the Dallas area in the 1960's with a 225hp Stearman. I have lapped the Cotton Bowl a few times. One New Years Day game I started getting ice. It's a good thing I was 18 years old.
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