PA 28 Student pilot 350 lbs

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by brien23, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Anybody know of a weight limit on the PA 28 wing walkway I have seen soft spots in them and wonder if that kind of weight might cause it. Also are the seats capable of that kind of weight. How about the Cessna 172 seats can they take that kind of weight. Sorry should have added PA-28-180 type aircraft in the OP.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  2. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don’t know about the structure, but you are going to have a really hard time getting the forward CG in limits on a Cherokee. I tried it with mine and with a 170 lb instructor, 30 gals of fuel and 140 lbs of ballast in the back you just barely make it. W&B
     
  3. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Which PA-28 do you have? Some have a baggage compartment limit of 100lbs, and some have 200lbs, if I remember correctly, and that may make a big difference in how easy it is for you to stay within the envelope.

    (For the original question, I don't know, sorry - but if in doubt I'd guess putting your weight closer to the wing root rather than not probably keeps it closer to well-supported structures.)
     
  4. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    PA-28-180 Also not sure the step or flap can take the weight, and yes I know the flap is a no step but people do it.
     
  5. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    On mine (PA-28-235) the flap is okay to step when it is locked fully up, though I admit I don't usually anyway, and I'd err on the side of caution in this case.
     
  6. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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    Plane with two doors will be much friendlier then one door
     
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  7. G-force

    G-force Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Can't help with the Piper, but with a normal sized CFi, a 172 would be fine. I've had me (250#) and a 300 pound passenger in various 172 models and as long as the extended range tanks are not full, within weight and balance.
     
  8. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Soft spots on the wing walk are probably more about maintenance. Over time, the skin becomes detached and has to be redone. You're not going to go through the wing, but I would take a good look at the wing walk area. When there's flex in it, you start finding other issues such as skin cracks and potentially corrosion under it.

    As far as your weight goes, the seats aren't going to crack under you either, but like all things in 50 year old planes, they're not really built for the average American today. You're putting more stress on it, but I know people heavier than you who fly PA28s.

    Nothing you don't already know.
     
  9. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Seat belt extender probably required.

    Flying Young Eagles, I stopped allowing 2 in the back (cherokee 180) not due to weight, but getting them out in case of emergency. I would hesitate putting someone that large next to the only door unless they can demonstrate promptly getting out in an emergency.

    It’s not entirely about the weight, either. Someone very tall might have problems, also.

    Two door, prefer a 182 for this.
     
  10. MacFly

    MacFly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Some people are just physically unable to fly a small plane. The only solution is weight loss, either by diet or by surgery.
     
  11. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    FYI: Any documented weight limits (wing walk, seats, etc.) will be listed in the TCDS and/or limitation section of the AFM. Don't recall any limits on a Piper wing walk area. And the only seat weight limits/requirements I can recall were original certification limits (Part 23/CAR 3) on seat design that had to withstand loads for a minimum weight person.
     
  12. pburger

    pburger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The flap in a Cherokee is designed to be stepped on when in the full up position. It is NOT a "no step" surface when fully retracted.
     
  13. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    That is true but do you want a 350 lb person stepping on it as it only has one bolt in a rod end to hold the flap up. Also not sure how many pounds the step on the side of the plane can take without bending.
     
  14. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Some icky remarks in here. I was that heavy when I got my PPL.

    I never needed a seatbelt extender.

    I never stepped through any wing walks.

    There were quite a few planes that would need aft ballast. 5 gallon water bags from walmart can work for this, at ~30# apiece. Sometimes you need partial fuel to make it work.

    I've never seen a published max weight for wing walk or seats.


    You should teach your student to step over flaps where practicable. Sometimes this means dropping a knee onto the wing walk to avoid the flap, then pulling self up with a hand on the spar line.

    You should teach them to NEVER bear weight on any cabin door. They should grab the roof structure and lower a foot into the footwell for a low wing; for a cessna, it's just a matter of leading with the inboard foot and kicking off with the other foot using the cabin step.

    For any new plane, set the seat to the rearmost stop, check for vertical adjustment (crank it down), and recline adjustment (a notch or two back does wonders), then tailor to fit from there.


    The comfort for big pilots seems to favor, in order: beech, cessna, piper. It seems to follow the size of the men behind those names. :D
     
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  15. Kitch

    Kitch Filing Flight Plan

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    6'5" 320 I fit in a 172 with no issues even have to pull the seat ahead a couple notches. Have never tried a low wing no interest in climbing on the wing and sliding across the seats.
     
  16. Domenick

    Domenick Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just for accuracy's sake, 5 gallons of water weighs about 41.5 pounds.
     
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  17. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Find a 182 to teach him in.
     
  18. jaymark6655

    jaymark6655 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was probably over 300 pounds when I was asked by a coworker to sit in his 140 and help trouble shoot an issue he was having. I didn't step on the flaps, other than that seemed like a non issue. As far as flying it, as long as we could have gotten weigh and balance good, then go for it. I think a lot of people forget, you don't need full tanks on take off to fly.

    I think I made sure to get down to 275 before starting my PPL, but that was personal choice and I am trying to lose more now to allow me to carry my kids and have a longer useful range as they get heavier.

    On my check ride, examiner was a bit heavier than the instructor, I added 50 lbs of lead shot as far back as I could get it. Plane flew better than it ever did with the instructor onboard (close to center of envelop vs close to the front edge).
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
  19. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Can a person with only one arm, leg and eye pass a medical?
     
  20. MacFly

    MacFly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The relevance of your question escapes me.
     
  21. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Cleared for Takeoff

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  22. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Two adults in the front of a cherokee usually means ballast in back. I have 3 different Reliance water carriers, 2gal, 4 gal, and 7 gal as well as a 1 gal empty after using the distilled water. Deciding what I need for ballast and the time of year determines which are in the baggage in the cherokee. Hot summer, probably the 7 gal tank or the 2 + 4 tanks. Definitely want water for survival if unexpectedly landing out west in the summer. Besides, keeping it in the hangar means I always have water for cleaning, coffee, etc. Hangar has electricity but no water. Every 6 months or so I take the tanks home, clean and refill.
     
  23. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I added ballast for my checkride in a Warrior - my CFI weighed considerably less than the DPE. That FBO had those sandbags you put in the trunk of your car for extra weight in the winter, I think they are 35# each. Current FBO has barbell weights on the shelf so you can take what you need. Either one will hurt if they whack you in the back of the head.
     
  24. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    A case of water from Sam's Club is about 44 pounds and costs about $3. That's some pretty cheap ballast, and of course if you have to land in the desert, at least you have water. I keep two of them in the back of the Seminole I'm teaching in right now, another famously forward-CG challenged airplane.
     
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  25. MajorTurbulence

    MajorTurbulence Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For my Archer2, I have always tried to keep anyone from stepping on the “no step” flap even though it is obviously not supporting anything when not locked in up position. In those rare times, when locked, that someone did it, you can see a small degree of flex occurring on it. The wing walk area is rock steady however.

    I can’t say I’ve ever experienced forward W&B problems in my Archer, but both seats occupying extremely heavy individuals may never have occurred. However, if the forward out of balance condition needs to be compensated for, I would strongly consider utilizing an emergency/survival pack back in the rear compartment. The water idea mentioned earlier certainly can work, but my pack has water and all the other goodies one thinks of for that unplanned emergency. It also happens to weigh around 42lbs, although one can trim that down if needed. I generally leave it there where it keeps the aircraft in a efficient aft CG for my cross countries.
     
  26. swingwing

    swingwing Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You will most likely need weight in the back to keep it in the envelope
     
  27. OkieAviator

    OkieAviator Pattern Altitude

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    This is what I typically have in my 10. However right now I have a 35 lb plate back there because I was working in the hangar and got really thirsty.
     
  28. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A 172 will do the job however on a hot day the climb rate may be a little anemic.
     
  29. jpwing

    jpwing Filing Flight Plan

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    I flew several PA28s with plenty of weight up front:
    1. Pilot 210 lbs
    2. Passenger 300 lbs
    3. Fuel to the tabs
    4. 50# of free weights in the baggage compartment.

    Never had an issue with performance. This configuration was barely in the green but it was in the green and we were fine. Never had an issue with anyone stepping on the wing to get in, though I did encourage everyone to step over the flap whenever possible.
     
  30. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You may, but you'll have plenty of UL left to stay clear of MTOW.