Ercoupe or other ideas?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by JamesA320, Jul 7, 2019.

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  1. JamesA320

    JamesA320 Filing Flight Plan

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    My dear friend is losing ability in his legs. He says he is in a wheelchair most of the time. He misses flying. An Ercoupe was suggested as I heard that they do not have rudder pedals. If this is the case, how do you control the rudder? How about braking? Is the footwell completely open? It sounds like it might be just thing thing for my friend. I do not know anything about these planes and I am afraid it might be too good to be true. I would love to hear more about Ercoupes and if there are any other planes that would have legroom and no rudder pedals.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Ailerons and rudder are connected so the yoke controls both. There is a brake pedal, but I suspect a hand control could be arranged, even if it were just a long extension on the pedal.

    Here’s a young lady with the opposite problem....
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica_Cox
     
  3. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    Here's another adaptation:
     
  4. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    During my instructing career I had five paraplegic students. One went on to get his commercial certificate and instrument ratings....he would have gone for multiengine, but taxiing around a bunch of T-hangars was too much for him.

    All of this training was in Cherokees, except for the twin. They used a hand control that bolted onto the shaft of the left rudder pedal on the passenger side, so they could move the rudder/nosewheel by pushing and pulling on the hand control.

    There is a wheelchair pilots association. Look them up.
     
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  5. JamesA320

    JamesA320 Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you!
     
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, I've got a paraplegic neighbor. His hand control essentially is a ring that runs down to the rudder pedal. He threads his right arm through it which allows him to work the throttle while moving the rudders. Left hand gets used for the yoke as normal.
     
  7. tinerj

    tinerj Cleared for Takeoff

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    The Ercoupe has but one brake pedal. It controls both master cylinders equally. So it is used for slowing the aircraft, not for steering.
     
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not uncommon for tricycle gear planes that have nosegear steering. Navions, Cherokees, etc... have a single hand lever to work both brakes.
     
  9. zaitcev

    zaitcev En-Route

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    One of the most commonly adopted LSAs is Sky Arrow. Something in the design makes it very easy to use a T handle for rudder control. Also, it's relatively less impossible for the front pilot there to get in and out of wheelchair (although I imagine someone needs to wheel the chair into position after parking).

    Also, Bob Gardner's suggestion is the best. Look up an organization such as Able Flight.
     
  10. JamesA320

    JamesA320 Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks everyone!
     
  11. diabolical

    diabolical Filing Flight Plan

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    My coupe, a 1948 Model E, has a hand brake/ parking brake in additional to the single foot pedal. It’s just as easy to use as the foot pedal if you wanted to but you just have to watch that you don’t turn the handle the wrong way and have it lock into the parking brake position. It has a ratchet type lock which will hold it as a parking brake but when it’s turned away from the ratchet it can be used just as a T-handle to put on the brake. Best of luck to your friend. Also, take a look at www.ercoupe.org, that site contains a wealth of contacts and info.
    Regards,
    Gene