Low wing plane with light rudder pedels

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by DesertNomad, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    My wife is looking for a plane that fits her better than our Dakota or the 152 she is learning to fly in. She is 5'1" and the rudder pedal pressure to taxi our Dakota is simply too heavy to be comfortable. The 152's high wing makes fueling and checking fuel difficult because the built-in step is simply too high.

    Is there a low wing plane that has lighter rudder pressure required - maybe a Diamond (I've only flown a DA40 once and don't really recall how the rudders felt)?
     
  2. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    There are some low-wing light sport - the CZAW LSA (marketed in the US for a while as the Piper Sport). There are others, but this is the only low-wing LSA I've flown. Fun airplane, too. The DA-20 is low wing but not a 4 seater. A more economical approach might be an Ercoupe, LSA or not.
     
  3. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    As you may be aware, 152's have springs and cables to the nose wheel. Pipers are commonly direct rods to the nose wheel. Diamonds, Grumman, and Cirrus are fully castering nose wheels that steer on the ground with differential braking.

    The location of the wing means nothing in "feel", it's how the steering is being done mechanically.
     
  4. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    How about no rudder pressure required to taxi other than to apply brake. AA5
     
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  5. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Pattern Altitude

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    Grumman Tiger and Vans RV trikes. Castering nosegear- zero taxi rudder pressure. ;)
     
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  6. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    Grumman’s come immediately to mind :)
    If you let her fly one, better plan on buying her one.
     
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  7. Flying_Nun

    Flying_Nun Line Up and Wait

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    Ercoupe

    "Lacking rudder pedals, the Ercoupe was flown using only the control wheel. A two-control system linked the rudder and aileron systems, which controlled yaw and roll, with the steerable nosewheel. The control wheel controlled the pitch and the steering of the aircraft, both on the ground and in the air..."

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
  8. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    He was referring to the hassle of fueling a high wing, not the taxiing characteristics
     
  9. Cervieres

    Cervieres Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Another vote for Diamond or Cirrus. I used to hate taxiing my previous DA40 and SR22 until I went back to flying a Cessna and now I miss them. Minimal pedal force required and you can really turn on a dime.
     
  10. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    I don't know, I went from the spring loaded Cessnas and rod Piper's to the free castering 162 and the rudder pressure to taxi is significantly increased. It was kicking my butt the first couple flights. Maybe it's just a162 thing?
     
  11. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    How about a Tomahawk? Does that have nose wheel steering linkage?
     
  12. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    RV 12
     
  13. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    don’t skip leg day!
     
  14. Aviator305

    Aviator305 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    From one Dakota pilot to another, a vote against the Diamond. The fit and finish on the one I flew left much to be desired. It felt like I was flying a toy compared to the Piper which is not known for fit and finish like a Beechcraft.
     
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  15. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm thinking she may need to relax, don't tense up on the pedals by keeping pressure on them when they are neutral thereby tiring herself out (I've btdt when I started flying) , don't press on them unless moving, then just push the one you need, use differential braking. Also at 5 feet 1, she may be reaching to get to the pedals, out of her power zone. Are they really that hard to push?
     
  16. jd21476

    jd21476 Line Up and Wait

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    Have you tried to inflate the tires. My Comanche gets real heavy in the front when the tires get even a little low
     
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  17. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Grumman, DA20, skycrasher or ct design

    If a conventional gear is acceptable then a champ would be fun.
     
  18. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    I am aware of that. The reason for the low wing is easier checking of the fuel and fueling. The rudder pressure is a second concern unrelated to the wing.

    She has had joint problems since childhood so it is related to that. She just doesn't want to see a chiropractor after every flight. :)
     
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  19. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Stick with the 152 and get a portable stool - all 182 flyers have to use one, it’s doable.
     
  20. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    That would be unusual, was the one you flew a rental or otherwise roughly handled? I've flown and maintained several diamonds, they've always been top notch in the fit and finish department as well being well thought out for maintenance.
     
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  21. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Line Up and Wait

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    Ercoupe...no rudder pedals...steer like a car on the ground...great for a short pilot...problem solved :)
     
  22. Aviator305

    Aviator305 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The only potential caveat was that it wasn’t the XLS version or whatever the premium model acronym is. It was privately owned. The broker was using it to transport me from my eventual home airport to the airport where the Dakota I would eventually buy was parked. It was a noisy ride. I remember seeing some exposed cables by the rudder pedals. My memory of it is now foggy, but I just remember the impression. Maybe one day the opportunity to present itself to fly in one again.
     
  23. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm 5'2"ish, flying an Archer. Never having flown a Diamond or Dakota, I can't help there!

    Is the problem only during taxi? If it's "heavy" during flight, too, you might try using cushions or blankets to get her closer to the pedals so it's less stress to work the pedals. When I first started flying, I'd end every flight with my legs so tired, they'd shake every time I used the clutch or took my heels off the car floor on the way home. It got a lot better once I was able to get a good height adjustment and I was not reaching so hard to get travel of the pedals. Full deflection is still hard for me and requires full extension and some stretching but the normal handling of the rudder is a whole lot "lighter" now, even during ground ops. So maybe something along those lines might at least help?
     
  24. Cervieres

    Cervieres Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Same. Owned a 2012 DA40XLS for about 5 years and there was nothing deficient in terms of fit, finish, or overall quality. The only thing I can think of that ever broke was one of those plastic latches on the vent window. It was probably the most robust and least maintenance intensive aircraft I’ve flown.
     
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  25. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    In my opinion, the fit and finish of the Diamonds is the best in the business for new, light airplanes. One of the Diamonds I maintained and flew was an absolutely pristine 2013 DA40 XLT, which I feel was even nicer than the 2021 NG that replaced it. The diesel is nice from a pilot's perspective, we'll see how well I like it from a mechanic's perspective over the next few years.

    That XLT ended up in a flight school. It pains me to think about what it looks like now.
     
  26. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    The fresh air vents are a little too good. Full open, they put out a ton of air which translates to a lot of noise.
    You remember correctly, although later years have more/better shrouds around them.
     
  27. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    Diamonds have a castering nosewheel so the amount of pressure for taxi is negligible. Tecnam LSAs have a steerable nosewheel setup similar to Cessnas. That said why not just get a light and portable stepstool for the 152?
     
  28. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    An archer/warrior is significantly lighter wrt pedal input during taxi than a Dakota. That big six out there makes a difference. I've not tried it, but I wonder if some ballast in the rear baggage would help.
     
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  29. JEB

    JEB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Perhaps an aircraft that has bungees connecting the rudder and aileron? That might help. I can tell you that my Bonanza with a big engine takes less left foot rudder on climb out than a 172 does. I wouldn't be able to compare to a 152, never flew one.
     
  30. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    Grumman Tiger - bonus of being faster than your Dakota too, on less gas.
     
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  31. Eric Lehto

    Eric Lehto Pre-takeoff checklist

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    After a couple of years in my Beech Sundowner, I taxied a PA-28. Lightest pedals in taxi I can remember since my flight training in 152's and 172's
     
  32. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    Third or fourth for a Tiger. The fuel sumps are a bit of a challenge. Need to really get under the wing.
     
  33. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    ...for a grand total of four, two each reachable from one position. Not an issue....rather do that than climb a ladder or a strut to fuel ..I know you understand that but the OP probably doesn’t.
     
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  34. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Check the fuel for her. Problem solved.
     
  35. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    The inboard right wing sump in our club Tiger is recessed and angled weird. I have to literally crawl under it to get the sump positioned properly. The Cherokee is much easier to sump with the external guides.

    Just wanted to mention for the OP ... low wing planes offer some potential challenges to think about. I mean, the Tiger is still my favorite for many reasons though.
     
  36. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    An Ercoupe is really, really light on the rudder pedals.
     
  37. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Some drains extend out to the sump cover, some don't. Obviously, the ones that extend out are easier to sample.
     
  38. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    I’m guessing the incorrect sump valve must’ve been installed there
     
  39. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Somebody didn't read the whole OP.

    [​IMG]
     
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  40. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    I don’t know. All four are the same design. It’s just that one that is a pain.