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Old May 31st, 2005, 01:07 PM   #26
Ed Guthrie Ed Guthrie is offline
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Levy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Guthrie
The above philosophy works fine until one of your ex-students flies into another FSDO district and meets an inspector who read the preamble to 91.213 and the final rule, and has decided that the intent of the rule was to allow pilots to proceed with minor equipment inop, and that the intent of the rule was not to allow pilots to make aircraft equipment changes without the appropriate w&b modifications through an appropriate IA signature. At that point the student is royally hosed.

As you often note, caveat aviator.

And the answer is...

Mr Levy:

The pilot may use the weight/arm/moment data from the aircraft's equipment list to show the absence of the component on the weight and balance sheet for the aircraft. The pilot must comply with the requirements of Part 91.213, Part 43 Appendix A para C and Part 43.9 (a). If you have any other concerns feel free to contact me @ (781) 238-7234.

Roger Fortune Jr.
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(781) 238-7234

Yes, I know, he's not AGC-200, but his answer came back via the EA RC.
Ron, would you mind posting scanned images of both the question letter and the reply letter? I occasionally fly the Mooney with the rear seat removed via the POH wording. I would like to send Mr. Fortune the POH page (copy) along with your letter & his response and ask him if the 43.9(a) entry is required given that the POH seems to declare removing the seat to be a simple W&B calculation (flight, no document) item.

OTOH, if he replies to my inquiry with a statement that the 43.9 entry is required even for the Mooney I would like to keep the two letters in the aircraft records just in case...
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Old May 31st, 2005, 01:57 PM   #27
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Guthrie
Ron, would you mind posting scanned images of both the question letter and the reply letter?
No can do -- all done by email. If you want a real letter, you'll have to write or email Mr. Fortune. His email is roger.fortune@faa.gov. You can also reach the EA Asst RC who handled this stephen.brice@faa.gov. Here's the original question posed to the EA RC:

"A question has arisen regarding compliance with 91.213(d). If a pilot removes an inoperative or nonrequired item as 'preventive maintenance' under the authority of paragraph (c) of Appendix A to Part 43 (e.g., removal of a tray-mounted radio), does a full official updated weight and balance sheet have to be made for the aircraft and signed by an A&P, or may the pilot simply use the weight/arm/moment data from the aircraft’s equipment list to allow for the absence of the component when doing the normal preflight W&B computations?"




The full response was already posted. However, I think it's pretty clear that he is saying an entry in the log book is required to document removal/replacement of any item. I would so log it, with the appropriate section of 43A(c) referenced as authority for the work and my signature under the entry. The only question at issue was whether the work required a new W&B sheet signed by an A&P or just the pilot making the appropriate adjustment based on equipment list weight/arm data for the removed item.

Last edited by Ron Levy; May 31st, 2005 at 02:02 PM.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 12:27 PM   #28
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

To answer the question about removing and operating the aircraft with the rear seat removed. Yes you can, BUT you will need a FAA form 337 Major alteration field approved from your local FSDO before doing it.

This can be accomplished by submitting the request and having the FSDO stamp and sign block 3 off before the seat is removed. Doing this will change the type certificate and weight and balance this is why the field approval is required.

If you want to haul equipment as long as you are with in the weight and balance and it is secured properly you should be okay with a field approval. However discuss this with your FSDO before doing it.

OR

You could get a Special Flight Permit (Ferry Permit) to remove the seat for maintenance day VFR direct for a one time flight and one for the flight back. Again contact your local FSDO. This will require a A&P to determine the aircraft is safe for flight and give you a temp weight and balance.

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Old June 3rd, 2005, 12:46 PM   #29
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stache
To answer the question about removing and operating the aircraft with the rear seat removed. Yes you can, BUT you will need a FAA form 337 Major alteration field approved from your local FSDO before doing it.

This can be accomplished by submitting the request and having the FSDO stamp and sign block 3 off before the seat is removed. Doing this will change the type certificate and weight and balance this is why the field approval is required.

If you want to haul equipment as long as you are with in the weight and balance and it is secured properly you should be okay with a field approval. However discuss this with your FSDO before doing it.

OR

You could get a Special Flight Permit (Ferry Permit) to remove the seat for maintenance day VFR direct for a one time flight and one for the flight back. Again contact your local FSDO. This will require a A&P to determine the aircraft is safe for flight and give you a temp weight and balance.

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Well, That's 2 FSDO's that agree, you and my PMI.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 01:04 PM   #30
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stache
To answer the question about removing and operating the aircraft with the rear seat removed. Yes you can, BUT you will need a FAA form 337 Major alteration field approved from your local FSDO before doing it.
I'm curious to know how you conclude that removal of the rear seat is a "major alteration." I've looked through the list in paragraph (a)(1) of Appendix A to Part 43, and I don't see anything in that list that seems to apply.

(a) Major alterations—(1) Airframe major alterations. Alterations of the following parts and alterations of the following types, when not listed in the aircraft specifications issued by the FAA, are airframe major alterations:

(i) Wings.

(ii) Tail surfaces.

(iii) Fuselage.

(iv) Engine mounts.

(v) Control system.

(vi) Landing gear.

(vii) Hull or floats.

(viii) Elements of an airframe including spars, ribs, fittings, shock absorbers, bracing, cowling, fairings, and balance weights.

(ix) Hydraulic and electrical actuating system of components.

(x) Rotor blades.

(xi) Changes to the empty weight or empty balance which result in an increase in the maximum certificated weight or center of gravity limits of the aircraft.

(xii) Changes to the basic design of the fuel, oil, cooling, heating, cabin pressurization, electrical, hydraulic, de-icing, or exhaust systems.

(xiii) Changes to the wing or to fixed or movable control surfaces which affect flutter and vibration characteristics.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 05:05 AM   #31
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

I've just read this entire thread for a second time, and was still not clear whether the pilot can remove the rear seat assembly (or at least the 1-piece seat back) and note it in log and w/b (with a post-it). I was also wondering whether there's been any change in the regs (or more likely their interpretation) since June '05 when the last post was made. My impression is that back then some FAA people ruled it ok, and others said it requires their approval.

We're getting ready to fly our 1983 172Q to Oshkosh and it would be very helpful to know for sure if I can pull the seat, log it, and put a post-it on the w/b sheet to show the new numbers.

Question: After looking it up with the help of reg numbers cited in this thread, I've come to the conclusion that pilots can remove the C-172 rear seat and fly without it if we don't try to seat passengers on the floor. Is this accurate?

*References:
I looked on http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgFAR.nsf/0/ac9bed30f1d032b9852566ab006bc89c!OpenDocument and found this [my notes in cited regs underlined inside square brackets] (my emphasis added):
"Part 43 Appendix A--Major Alterations, Major Repairs, and Preventive Maintenance
  • (a) Major alterations-- [does not seem to apply]
  • (b) Major repairs-- [does not seem to apply]
  • (c) Preventive maintenance. ...
(11) Repairing upholstery and decorative furnishings of the cabin, cockpit, or balloon basket interior when the repairing does not require disassembly of any primary structure or operating system or interfere with an operating system or affect the primary structure of the aircraft.
...
(30) The inspection and maintenance tasks prescribed and specifically identified as preventive maintenance in a primary category aircraft type certificate or supplemental type certificate holder's approved special inspection and preventive maintenance program when accomplished on a primary category aircraft provided:
(i) They are performed by the holder of at least a private pilot certificate issued under part 61 who is the registered owner (including co-owners) of the affected aircraft and who holds a certificate of competency for the affected aircraft ..."
[So apparently, pilots are authorized to remove the seat.]

I then looked at http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Gu...tLookup/91.213
"Sec. 91.213
[note: (a) through (c) apparently don't apply to removing the rear seat]
...
(d) Except for operations conducted in accordance with paragraph (a) or (c) of this section, a person may takeoff an aircraft in operations conducted under this part with inoperative instruments and equipment without an approved Minimum Equipment List provided--
(1) The flight operation is conducted in a--[nonturbine-powered airplane (e.g. C-172)]...
(2) The inoperative instruments and equipment are not--
(i) Part of the VFR-day type certification instruments and equipment prescribed in the applicable airworthiness regulations under which the aircraft was type certificated;
(ii) Indicated as required on the aircraft's equipment list, or on the Kinds of Operations Equipment List for the kind of flight operation being conducted;
(iii) Required by Sec. 91.205 ["Equipment, Instrument, and Certificate Requirements" - does not mention rear seat requirement] or any other rule of this part for the specific kind of flight operation being conducted; or
(iv) Required to be operational by an airworthiness directive; and
(3) The inoperative instruments and equipment are--
(i) Removed from the aircraft, the cockpit control placarded, and the maintenance recorded in accordance with Sec. 43.9 of this chapter; or
(ii) Deactivated and placarded "Inoperative." If deactivation of the inoperative instrument or equipment involves maintenance, it must be accomplished and recorded in accordance with part 43 of this chapter; and
(4) A determination is made by a pilot, who is certificated and appropriately rated under part 61 of this chapter, or by a person, who is certificated and appropriately rated to perform maintenance on the aircraft, that the inoperative instrument or equipment does not constitute a hazard to the aircraft. An aircraft with inoperative instruments or equipment as provided in paragraph (d) of this section is considered to be in a properly altered condition acceptable to the Administrator. ..."
So apparently pilots can determine that it's ok to fly without the seat, provided it's logged and perhaps placarded.

Finally, I checked this: http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Gu...ectLookup/43.9
"Sec. 43.9
(a) Maintenance record entries. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, each person who maintains, performs preventive maintenance, rebuilds, or alters an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part shall make an entry in the maintenance record of that equipment containing the following information:
(1) A description (or reference to data acceptable to the Administrator) of work performed.
(2) The date of completion of the work performed.
(3) The name of the person performing the work if other than the person specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.
(4) If the work performed on the aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part has been performed satisfactorily, the signature, certificate number, and kind of certificate held by the person approving the work. The signature constitutes the approval for return to service only for the work performed. ..."
So apparently the pilot logs it in this manner, and adds another log entry (and removes the optional w/b post-it) when the seat goes back in. I say optional presuming that the pilot is always responsible for w/b before flight and will probably want the convenience of the post-it as a starting point.
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Last edited by JohnSBA; July 15th, 2010 at 06:44 AM. Reason: Added references
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Old July 15th, 2010, 08:20 AM   #32
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Well, if it's illegal to pull and replace the seat as required for various missions, there's a heck of a lot of people breaking the law on a regular basis.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 08:20 AM   #33
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSBA View Post
I've just read this entire thread for a second time, and was still not clear whether the pilot can remove the rear seat assembly (or at least the 1-piece seat back) and note it in log and w/b (with a post-it). I was also wondering whether there's been any change in the regs (or more likely their interpretation) since June '05 when the last post was made. My impression is that back then some FAA people ruled it ok, and others said it requires their approval.

We're getting ready to fly our 1983 172Q to Oshkosh and it would be very helpful to know for sure if I can pull the seat, log it, and put a post-it on the w/b sheet to show the new numbers.

Question: After looking it up with the help of reg numbers cited in this thread, I've come to the conclusion that pilots can remove the C-172 rear seat and fly without it if we don't try to seat passengers on the floor. Is this accurate?

*References:
I looked on http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgFAR.nsf/0/ac9bed30f1d032b9852566ab006bc89c!OpenDocument and found this [my notes in cited regs underlined inside square brackets] (my emphasis added):
"Part 43 Appendix A--Major Alterations, Major Repairs, and Preventive Maintenance
  • (a) Major alterations-- [does not seem to apply]
  • (b) Major repairs-- [does not seem to apply]
  • (c) Preventive maintenance. ...
(11) Repairing upholstery and decorative furnishings of the cabin, cockpit, or balloon basket interior when the repairing does not require disassembly of any primary structure or operating system or interfere with an operating system or affect the primary structure of the aircraft.
...
(30) The inspection and maintenance tasks prescribed and specifically identified as preventive maintenance in a primary category aircraft type certificate or supplemental type certificate holder's approved special inspection and preventive maintenance program when accomplished on a primary category aircraft provided:
(i) They are performed by the holder of at least a private pilot certificate issued under part 61 who is the registered owner (including co-owners) of the affected aircraft and who holds a certificate of competency for the affected aircraft ..."
[So apparently, pilots are authorized to remove the seat.]

I then looked at http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Gu...tLookup/91.213
"Sec. 91.213
[note: (a) through (c) apparently don't apply to removing the rear seat]
...
(d) Except for operations conducted in accordance with paragraph (a) or (c) of this section, a person may takeoff an aircraft in operations conducted under this part with inoperative instruments and equipment without an approved Minimum Equipment List provided--
(1) The flight operation is conducted in a--[nonturbine-powered airplane (e.g. C-172)]...
(2) The inoperative instruments and equipment are not--
(i) Part of the VFR-day type certification instruments and equipment prescribed in the applicable airworthiness regulations under which the aircraft was type certificated;
(ii) Indicated as required on the aircraft's equipment list, or on the Kinds of Operations Equipment List for the kind of flight operation being conducted;
(iii) Required by Sec. 91.205 ["Equipment, Instrument, and Certificate Requirements" - does not mention rear seat requirement] or any other rule of this part for the specific kind of flight operation being conducted; or
(iv) Required to be operational by an airworthiness directive; and
(3) The inoperative instruments and equipment are--
(i) Removed from the aircraft, the cockpit control placarded, and the maintenance recorded in accordance with Sec. 43.9 of this chapter; or
(ii) Deactivated and placarded "Inoperative." If deactivation of the inoperative instrument or equipment involves maintenance, it must be accomplished and recorded in accordance with part 43 of this chapter; and
(4) A determination is made by a pilot, who is certificated and appropriately rated under part 61 of this chapter, or by a person, who is certificated and appropriately rated to perform maintenance on the aircraft, that the inoperative instrument or equipment does not constitute a hazard to the aircraft. An aircraft with inoperative instruments or equipment as provided in paragraph (d) of this section is considered to be in a properly altered condition acceptable to the Administrator. ..."
So apparently pilots can determine that it's ok to fly without the seat, provided it's logged and perhaps placarded.

Finally, I checked this: http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Gu...ectLookup/43.9
"Sec. 43.9
(a) Maintenance record entries. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, each person who maintains, performs preventive maintenance, rebuilds, or alters an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part shall make an entry in the maintenance record of that equipment containing the following information:
(1) A description (or reference to data acceptable to the Administrator) of work performed.
(2) The date of completion of the work performed.
(3) The name of the person performing the work if other than the person specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.
(4) If the work performed on the aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part has been performed satisfactorily, the signature, certificate number, and kind of certificate held by the person approving the work. The signature constitutes the approval for return to service only for the work performed. ..."
So apparently the pilot logs it in this manner, and adds another log entry (and removes the optional w/b post-it) when the seat goes back in. I say optional presuming that the pilot is always responsible for w/b before flight and will probably want the convenience of the post-it as a starting point.
Removal of the rear seat cannot be considered "preventive maintenance". It will require a logbook entry by an appropriately rated person (A&P) and a recalculation of the W&B also entered by the A&P.

If you need clarification contact your local FSDO.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 08:24 AM   #34
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henning View Post
Well, if it's illegal to pull and replace the seat as required for various missions, there's a heck of a lot of people breaking the law on a regular basis.
As long as the proper entries are made by the required person there's no issue.

No doubt some people see this as no big deal and just do it. Until they get a ramp inspection.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 08:39 AM   #35
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotor&Wing View Post
As long as the proper entries are made by the required person there's no issue.

No doubt some people see this as no big deal and just do it. Until they get a ramp inspection.
I'm talking about people pulling and replacing as needed with nothing but a simple W&B calculation change for that flight. If a pilot cant make that calculation, they wouldn't have been issued an Airman's Certificate of any level, it's completely basic stuff. Since it's not a permanent change, most people would not suspect it requires changing the W&B data sheet for the aircraft since after the weekend of hauling the camping gear and coolers in the back, they'll just bolt the back seats right back in again same as it ever was. Walk through the camping area at OSH and count how many 172s have the rear seat removed, then ask how many had it done by an A&P who filled a 337.... This is really kinda bordering on silly.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 09:24 AM   #36
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Well, I like the fact that my POH has calcs for W&B with one or both rear seats and third-row seats (if so-equipped) installed or removed. The seats remove without tools; one retaining pin holds in an aluminum limit on the seat track; remove each, and the seat slides right out, ba-da-boom.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 09:54 AM   #37
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

For what it's worth, the Cardinal owner's manual shows loading diagrams with CG arms for three configurations: front and back seats, front, back, and aux. (cargo area kiddy seat) seats, and front seats only.

The manual also states that the rear seat can be removed if desired, and gives loading limits and instructions on how to determine weight and balance for cargo carried in the aft cabin.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 10:49 AM   #38
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCCutler View Post
Well, I like the fact that my POH has calcs for W&B with one or both rear seats and third-row seats (if so-equipped) installed or removed. The seats remove without tools; one retaining pin holds in an aluminum limit on the seat track; remove each, and the seat slides right out, ba-da-boom.

As long as there is an approved procedure that can be referenced for that make/model aircraft you're good to go.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 11:03 AM   #39
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henning View Post
I'm talking about people pulling and replacing as needed with nothing but a simple W&B calculation change for that flight. If a pilot cant make that calculation, they wouldn't have been issued an Airman's Certificate of any level, it's completely basic stuff. Since it's not a permanent change, most people would not suspect it requires changing the W&B data sheet for the aircraft since after the weekend of hauling the camping gear and coolers in the back, they'll just bolt the back seats right back in again same as it ever was. Walk through the camping area at OSH and count how many 172s have the rear seat removed, then ask how many had it done by an A&P who filled a 337.... This is really kinda bordering on silly.
It maybe "silly and boring" to you,but during a ramp inspection if the FAA ASI sees a missing seat he may ask to see the approved documentation for performing the procedure. If you cannot produce this be prepared for the next step which may be very unpleasant.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #40
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotor&Wing View Post
It maybe "silly and boring" to you,but during a ramp inspection if the FAA ASI sees a missing seat he may ask to see the approved documentation for performing the procedure. If you cannot produce this be prepared for the next step which may be very unpleasant.
I trust that the FAA ASI won't expect me to have the logs (with
the entries for seat removal and revised W & B in the aircraft.
And I trust that a valid W&B for the aircraft won't have to detail
all the stuff included/excluded from the W&B.

Last edited by Bob Noel; July 15th, 2010 at 02:17 PM. Reason: getting rid of smiley in W&B
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Old July 15th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #41
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Noel View Post
I trust that the FAA ASI won't expect me to have the logs (with
the entries for seat removal and revised W& in the aircraft.
And I trust that a valid W&B for the aircraft won't have to detail
all the stuff included/excluded from the W&B.
Correct. But you may be requested to produce your logs at the FSDO for inspection.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 01:04 PM   #42
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Ha! Cessnas suck. The rear seats of my Cherokee are attached with velcro, and can be removed without nuttin'. Not that I would, they don't weigh much of anything.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 09:36 PM   #43
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
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Ha! Cessnas suck. The rear seats of my Cherokee are attached with velcro, and can be removed without nuttin'. Not that I would, they don't weigh much of anything.
The rear seats in the Cherokee 6 just "pop" out. You just pull up on the back of the seat and then slide it rearward and its out. No tools needed.

I just checked the POH and there is something in there about having 5 seats removed for cargo. It doesn't talk about how to remove the seats though. I'd say this is covered under the same rules that would allow me to personally reupholster the entire interior, which would be a way bigger change than just popping a seat out for a flight.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 09:43 PM   #44
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

My airplane doesn't have a rear seat.

What happens if I get ramp checked?
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Old July 15th, 2010, 09:45 PM   #45
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Which in and of itself marked a significant improvement in the quality of construction of the Piper line.

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Originally Posted by steingar View Post
Ha! Cessnas suck. The rear seats of my Cherokee are attached with velcro, and can be removed without nuttin'. Not that I would, they don't weigh much of anything.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 09:47 PM   #46
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe View Post
My airplane doesn't have a rear seat.

What happens if I get ramp checked?
Better get an A&P to write you a 337.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 09:50 PM   #47
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

I contacted my local fsdo last year about this. You will need a log book entry by a A&P and a revised weight and balance, then you are good to go.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 10:16 PM   #48
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

The 180 I owned prior to the current ride had been modified (with signed- off 337 blah) with two individual Piper seats with push-to-release mountings on one of the front seat-legs. The seat-belts that were originally attached to the rear seat frame had been reattached via a cable-yoke that was bolted to the the airframe. I wish I had the same system in this one, but have so far resisted the urge to do the work.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 01:28 AM   #49
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

Holy thread resurrection!
I had forgotten about this.
Never did do it though, Tom scared me out of it. Not worth the hassles, like a lot of things aviation........
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Old July 16th, 2010, 04:08 AM   #50
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Re: Flying with the rear seat removed

FWIW, in the T182T Skylane information manual, the pilots seat is noted as required for FAA certification. Not so for any of the other seats in the aircraft. They also have a separate loading arrangement chart with the second row seats removed, and a textual note "The rear bench seat can be removed to access the floorboard area of the rear cabin." It then goes on to describe how to securely fasten cargo in this area. The rear seat itself is 50 lbs.

None of this, however, goes to whether an A & P needs to sign off on the removal/installation of the seat.
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