C172 Passenger Size

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by idahoflier, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait

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    For those Skyhawk pilots out there, what's the largest passenger you have had in the right seat?

    I have a few acquaintances, co-workers, etc. that have expressed interest in a ride sometime, however a couple of them are pretty large. Just looking for feedback from anyone who has flown some large passengers and how it went?
     
  2. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    It's all about doing a proper W&B. The DPE I flew with on a C152 put me at gross well before full fuel. (I was warned in advance.) I've had potential pax in my Traveler that wouldn't fit with the factory seat belts. No seat belt, no fly. I didn't have extenders available.

    If the W&B is OK and seatbelts fit, there is no real issue.
     
  3. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    If it fits it ships? Just kidding, do the W&B and either ask the weight or guess and round up a hefty amount. My DPE for ppl was fairly large and we launched in a 172.
     
  4. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    5'8" and "around 300lbs".
     
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  5. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    We were overweight during my entire PP training in a 152. We had a longer runway so it wasn’t an issue. But it took a while to get airborne, especially because it was during the summer.
    I think balance is crucial, you will be ok a little overweight, but overweight and out of balance...those pilots are probably not around to talk about their experience. I say that because many have ferried a plane across the ocean with extra fuel tanks on board with no problem.
     
  6. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    6’1 285 lbs Took forever to get off the ground .
     
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  7. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Big bellies and thick thighs can foul the control wheel. Got to keep the pax well back. There are seatbelt extenders available for this sort of thing, too.

    Cessna's legacy seats are light and easily damaged by such loads. Just sliding in and out of the airplane can do it. Leaning back puts terrific strain on the rather light seat back mechanisms.
     
  8. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    About 250lbs. Always have the seat pushed back to its furthest aft detent so they don’t interfere with the controls. Surprisingly, you can get some pretty big people in a 172. Just do a W&B and you’ll be all set.
     
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  9. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    6'6" .. or is it 6"6' .. probably 200-220 lbs

    The Skyhawk, for all it's faults, is a decently comfortable plane inside for passengers with it's square frame, two doors, etc.
     
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  10. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait

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    This is really what I was most concerned about. I'm trying to gauge how much is too much...
     
  11. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks for the replies. I understand the W&B implications, my question is more geared to feedback, like "I tried to fly a 350lb individual and it didn't work out" or "took a 400lb person with no issues", etc...
     
  12. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait

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    Especially with vertically challenged pilots such as myself... ;-)
     
  13. OkieAviator

    OkieAviator Pattern Altitude

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    6'3 280 lbs. He was one of my CFIs. Rubbed elbows but all went well.
     
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  14. topgun260

    topgun260 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I took a friend up once who was in the 350 pound range and it was not problem. This was years ago when I was just a kid and probably only weighed 150 myself. I don't remember what year the plane was but it was a 150hp C172. I did a weight and balance and it all worked out. Also, your 172 will fly differently if your are loaded at the forward edge of the CG envelope. +1 on the fragile seats especially if you have the crank adjustable ones.
     
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  15. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Line Up and Wait

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    I took 2 friends up once... Right seat was 6' 250#. Back seat about 180# I was 180#

    W/B 2293# /97.1 moment. In the rented 1974 172, we were in the normal envelope, albeit near the edges.

    Calm day. DA= flatlander normal, not mid summer coolish morn with light fog here and there with no icing reports.

    $100 burger trip...

    What we gained in food weight was offset by fuel usage getting there. On the return trip being maybe 10# lighter... We just "flew" back...

    It wasn't noticably faster. But we did fly home...
     
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  16. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    I trained in a C-152 Sparrowhawk with the extra HP (but here in the desert southwest). With me and instructor, max fuel was about 14 gallons which was actually 1 gallon above MTOW, but he indicated we'd burn that much in start-up, long taxi and run-up. Fuel burn was *supposed* to be 6 GPH but the Sparrowhawks were doing closer to 7 GPH.

    I have a friend that I couldn't take on a flight, not because of W&B, but because his weight is more mid body and legs ... I could reach trim controls or flaps.
     
  17. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    6'2" ~ 260lbs, with me at 6'- 225lbs, plus back seat passenger 5'6" 130lbs. No issues at all, I mean it was snug but no issues with control movement or that sort of thing. It was a cooler day, probably right around standard temp, and I had 3,900'+ runways at each end of the 1-hr trip, so plenty of room to get off the ground.
     
  18. NordicDave

    NordicDave Cleared for Takeoff

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    For me same person in both a 172 and 182. Me 6' 165, friend 5'10 280lbs. Even in the 182 I was the plane had aileron trim. Had to hold the yoke tipped left for 3 hours.
     
  19. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    W&B aside just pure stuffing people in seats I can tell you that you can have two people that weigh 250-300 pounds and have very different body types. The seatbelt is probably going to be the limiting factor in many cases. If you get a short 250 pounder you they may run out of seat belt before a tall 300 pounder.

    I am a big guy and have flown with some big guys and if you stagger the seats almost anything is doable so long as you can make W&B work.
     
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  20. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    You could shoehorn that big guy in there, the seat cracks or something bends, and the damage isn't found until the next annual when the seal rail and locks AD is done, and a sharp-eyed mechanic familiar with the weak spots finds that crack or bent doodad that was fine a year ago.
     
  21. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait

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    Yeah, it's probably not worth taking the chance. I have flown a friend who was pushing 270lbs and that seemed to go OK. I'll probably just set a 300lb limit...

    Thanks for the feedback all!
     
  22. GLDP

    GLDP Filing Flight Plan

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    Whatever you do make sure you tell them to not slam the seats back against the seat stops. When you find cracking in the rail at the aft end you know those passengers were too much for it.
     
  23. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    In some Cessnas there is little or no structure under much of the seat rail's length, the rail itself being the stiffener, and they flex when the big guy rolls the seat back. Aluminum will only take so much of that. The top flange of the rail is compressed every time the rail is swaybacked downward, and when it comes back up that compressed flange is then under tension, and it starts cracking. The cracks often show up at the seat stop since the hole in the flange there weakens it a lot. McFarlane's rails have a thicker section and are more resistant to this. And cheaper. The '96 and on airplanes have rails that make the old ones look like sphagetti and they have no holes in the top flange. And the seats are built like bridges. Cessna got it right this time, at the expense of a bunch of extra weight.
     
  24. Jumpmaster

    Jumpmaster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    At least with high wings you don’t have to worry about anyone crushing your wing. My 300+ pound sister-in-law has wanted me to take her for a ride in my Tiger. No way that’s gonna happen.
     
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  25. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    I had a 6' 300 pounder in the Tiger. Along with a 6'5" 250 pounder. Take off wasn't An issue, though I kept it at tabs for the 300 pound guy. It is actually a surprisingly good tall person plane.
     
  26. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Pattern Altitude

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    6'2 and ~360. Me, in the left seat, in heavier times. I think taller would be fine, maybe up to 6'6 or 6'7?. I'm not sure much heavier is advisable. I think there is a POH "seat weight limit" that goes overlooked often in certain models, worth a stroll through the book if you're concerned about technicality.

    If you have the vertically-adjusting seats, it's worth cranking them down. Never had a problem with knees fouling the yokes, just be slow on those control continuity checks as the knees may need to navigate the yoke horn.

    It is imperative that the top of the door NOT be used as an anchor point for loading or any sort of weight-throwing maneuver -- just like any other plane. The loading sequence should be inboard foot, then butt into seat, then haul in the outboard foot with outboard hand braced on the A-pillar for leverage, NOT the door or anything else. Then seat belt. Then close and latch the door. Motor on.

    Cessna seats and tracks seem flimsy, but they'll take it. It's bouncing on the seatback that will break the hinge and you'll need to weld a gusset -- not weight specific, but heavier is worse obvi..
     
  27. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    That would be my brother in law.

    Six foot six and 330 pounds. Good thing my sister only weighs about 100...
     
  28. farangutan

    farangutan Filing Flight Plan

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    My 265 lb friend busted bent the seat frame and sheared a pin just adjusting himself in the seat of a Grumman Traveler.
    I did my instrument training in a C172 with an instructor who weighed 340 and I weighed 170. I remember on our first lesson I was having trouble keeping headings and I said this plane has a strong right banking tendency and he chuckled, "it's a little heavier on my side".
    I was embarrassed.
     
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  29. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The difference between you would be far less than the difference if you were in the plane alone.
     
  30. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Well I was 6' 220lbs when I did my training, and my instructor was 5'7 and about 165lbs. Even that 55lbs difference is more than enough to have to hold opposite aileron. After I did my first solo, we took a pic standing under the wing of the C172 . . . well, I was hunching over, he was standing tall, lol.
     
  31. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    5'10", 320 lbs, and he actually caught the bug for a while and took lessons. Never finished, unfortunately. At the time I was a buck-sixty. IIRC we were at forward limit of CG.
     
  32. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    I’ve had people over the seat’s rated limits.

    W&B notwithstanding, Cessna seats and tracks do have a weight limit.

    Unfortunately I don’t remember where I found them. We talked about it here eons ago, if someone is bored enough to search.
     
  33. G-force

    G-force Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Me at 230# and a 300# passenger. Just watch your foward CG, if its right at it and you have the extra weight capacity, put some ballast in the baggage compartment, it makes the flare/landing easier and more what your used too.
     
  34. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    and the issue is at the 9G limit....on crash impact. It may not survive that.

    Don't crash....and everyone is probably gonna be fine. ;)

    but even then....they are rated for a "standard" pilot ....170 lbs. So, we are all screwed. lol :D
     
  35. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Cleared for Takeoff

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    I flew a friend and his dad once. They were both 300+ and I was 225 or so. It was cozy but we all fit and the airplane flew fine, just a little sluggish on takeoff and climb. I forget how much fuel we had on board but it was less than full, plus it was a nice cold winter day, so I wasn't too worried.
     
  36. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    The CAR3 or old FAR23 seats would never take 9G. Old FAR23 required that the seats withstand a 215 pound occupant at the airframe's load limit, or 3.8G for the typical normal category airplane. The new FAR23 requirements are 26G for the front (crew) seats and 19 for the rest, and when you pull the seats out of a 172R or S you find that out real quick. They're made of steel, not aluminum, and weigh at least three times what the old ones did.

    9G is the old engine mount requirement.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  37. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So...what was the CAR3 Static load requirements for seats? 4.5g's?
     
  38. SoCalPilot88

    SoCalPilot88 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I took my buddy up in a 172M. He is 360 lbs and 6’-0”. I worried quite a bit about seat strength. I calculated the stress imposed on the seat and rails and concluded it would be fine. Flight was uneventful. He has broad shoulders so he had to slide his seat all the way back. I showed him how to board the plane and what he could, or could not put his weight on.
     
  39. TerryD1023

    TerryD1023 Filing Flight Plan

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    How big is the biggest guy you know that might occupy that seat?