Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Non-Airline Forums > Private Flying
Reload this Page >

Maximum weight for trial lesson

Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

Maximum weight for trial lesson

Old 23rd Feb 2014, 14:36
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Wimbledon
Posts: 2
Maximum weight for trial lesson

I'd like to give my nephew a trial flying lesson, but he's a big lad -- about 18 stone. Does anyone know of a flying school near London (preferably to the south, but anywhere will do) where this will not be a problem? I believe some schools use four-seater aircraft. Thanks for your help.
Clothandstring is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2014, 17:50
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: South England
Posts: 56
Fairoaks

I'd give Synergy Aviation at Fairoaks ( near Woking) a call. They do trial lessons in PA28s, and have a Tarmac runway, so no water-logging problems either.
SEP Flyer is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2014, 20:12
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: South-East, United Kingdom
Posts: 248
A Piper Archer (or maybe even a Piper Cherokee) or a Cessna 172 should be no problem. My flying buddy is 18 stone and very tall, and there is no problem with this weight. a Cessna 152 is probably not so suitable, but most flying schools in the South East would have these aircraft in their fleet.
piperarcher is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2014, 20:29
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: South Oxfordshire
Posts: 608
Sussex Flying scool at Shoreham offer trial flights in a Warrior, but they state 17 stone max in it. You can apparently take a friend in the back though....so maybe if you don't use this option they might be flexible with the weight. ....possibly?
Blues&twos is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2014, 20:31
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: In a hole somewhere
Age: 42
Posts: 380
Maximum weight for trial lesson

A c152 will be ok as long as instructor isnt a heavy.

I was 18 stone at one point during my training and i went all the way in a 152.

My weight is not fat though so other than not a lot of shoulder room atc i was ok. (My instructor was small and only 10stone)
Pilot.Lyons is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2014, 20:43
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 10,823
Actually you are all wrong.

There is a seat limit for airworthiness but its just everyone ignores it.
mad_jock is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2014, 21:16
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: London
Age: 55
Posts: 47
Agreed, Synergy will prolly do it, I'd say there are PPLs around that size I am aware of there.
Howard Long is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2014, 22:41
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: UK - North Weald (EGSX) & Southend (EGMC)
Posts: 36
I'm 14.5 Stone and my instructor is 16 stone ... we did a W&B check and found that we were actually 90lb over in a c152 with full tanks....

A c172 or some of the other aircraft mentioned here will be fine, or even a c152 as long as you don't have full tanks and obviously a c172 or similar will probably cost more per hour than a c152.

A few places I know of probably won't even check and do a w/b unless the person looks especially heavy... not so sure I like that.
SidT is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2014, 23:08
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 10,823
To be honest everyday in the UK there must be tens of school aircraft if not hundreds taking off over weight.

Yes I know its not a good thing but its a fact of life.
mad_jock is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2014, 23:20
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: West Coast Canada
Posts: 3,666
Originally Posted by mad_jock View Post
To be honest everyday in the UK there must be tens of school aircraft if not hundreds taking off over weight.

Yes I know its not a good thing but its a fact of life.
So why are so many pilots in the UK so obsessed with making sure every syllable of every radio call is absolutely in conformance with the CAP but don't care about flying aircraft over loaded and therefore by definition with an invalid C of A and potentially no insurance.

The 2 local flying schools I occasional help out at, require a full W & B be done before every flight, no exceptions. If an instructor flew an airplane over gross they would be immediately fired.
Big Pistons Forever is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2014, 23:35
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Age: 81
Posts: 698
However….

Don't be too blasé about weight. I flew a PA 28 (or 32, can't remember) out of an airfield in France on a hot day with 4 people on board, full tanks etc. very much on the limit and it was very bad news.

Did get off in the length of the runway, luckily it was a commercial airport but rate of climb was horrible. Never did it again

It's very easy, especially when travelling, to just fill up at an airfield and go without doing all the sums. I learnt the hard way.
funfly is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2014, 10:48
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: lancs.UK
Age: 73
Posts: 1,196
the fact that the W&B figures are regularly broken, without aeroplanes falling out of the sky, tends to suggest the figures are very conservative.....I'm also minded of the 152? from Saigon? who landed on an USA aircraft carrier, with a full family aboard....reckon that would have been way off limits but he still had control!...not suggesting that flouting the rules is a good thing......
cockney steve is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2014, 11:19
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,749
Whilst there's a maximum weight used for airworthiness purposes, it's not a hard operational limit for most aircraft. It is a limit for microlights, as defined by various regulations, and will be placarded.

In light aeroplanes (which actually use a lower structural value than most microlights) it's not a legal limit - so long as the overall aircraft weight and balance are not exceeded.

Legally of course - any exceedence invalidates the CofA/Permit, insurance, etc. etc.

In reality, going overweight a bit, in the vast majority of smaller aeroplanes, the vast majority of the time, is not a problem.

Going outside of CG limits however, can get nasty very quickly.


Back to the OP's question - the answers given are good, but do phone to book, and ask about weight when you do. I agree, the Cessna 172 and Piper PA28 (variously called "Cherokee", "Warrior", "Archer".... depending upon exact model) should be absolutely fine. The C152 is a perfectly good aeroplane, but with somebody of 18 stone will be a bit limited and not many schools have ultra-lightweight instructors; the other common and popular 2-seat training aeroplane is the PA38 Tomahawk, about which I'd say the same.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2014, 11:27
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 10,823
BPF

More than likely because if the FAA get wind of it they just suspend the pilots license and ask questions later.

UK unless something happens nothing will be said or even looked into. And even if it does the CAA can only take you to court you will still have your license afterwards.

And the fact is nothing really ever happens. In fact if they collected the data there would be a strong case for increasing MTOW of most old training types by 100kg.

The British climate is usually sub ISA and the runways that schools use are substantially longer than required and below 500ft altitude. If you got to a short runway school such as Neitherthope I would imagine they don't take the piss.

Realistically funfly was more than likely over 100kg over weight when they departed and they didn't like it but they survived

Must admit I have got into a tommy not as PIC with a mate both of us over 105kg with full tanks and only really thought about it as we were climbing through 3000ft. 15 deg C sea level no real addition to the runway used. Climb rate 450ft/min.

Its not just the performance you need to worry about though. You put substantially more load on the wings which will then screw with the fatigue life.

But again some of these machines have been getting the same treatment for getting on for 20 years now without wings falling off. Showing how over engineered they were in the first place.

I be worried in modern training types which have much leaner design tolerances.

Conversely a pilot will get lots of abuse for poor RT both from peer pressure and ATC.

with a full family aboard
I suspect that would be still significantly less that two UK rugby playing blokes.

But may be a lot worse safety risk due to as G says the fact that the CoG will be way out towards the dangerous rear end if they have stored the kids in the back.

Last edited by mad_jock; 24th Feb 2014 at 11:54.
mad_jock is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2014, 14:48
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: West Coast Canada
Posts: 3,666
Mad -Jock

I hear what you say, but what a terrible message ignoring the published MTOW sends to the students.....

In North America the plane is not legal to fly unless it has a serial number specific POH on board. In the UK the POH of the aircraft you are renting is probably sitting on a shelf in a mop closet still in the original wrapper.

Perhaps this tendency to ignore the POH, which seems pretty widespread in the UK partially accounts for the casual approach to aircraft loading, and the prevalence of weird UK flight training specific practices like going to carb air cold on final .
Big Pistons Forever is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2014, 16:31
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,749
Perhaps this tendency to ignore the POH, which seems pretty widespread in the UK partially accounts for the casual approach to aircraft loading, and the prevalence of weird UK flight training specific practices like going to carb air cold on final
I don't know, ignoring the POH seems pretty common everywhere to a greater or lesser extent.

I've had US instructors maintain that I should be flying final in a PA28 at 75knots with the carb heat on. I've also threatened to beat said US instructors over the head with said POH to illustrate the point

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2014, 18:49
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 10,823
BPF when I was in the US I never looked at a POH in 150 hours flying.

It was only when I started training in the UK for CPL I was introduced to the concept of reading it.
mad_jock is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2014, 22:43
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: London
Age: 55
Posts: 47
FWIW, I should have been specific to state that at the weight stated, Synergy will almost certainly point you towards one of their PA28s rather than a C152.

I learnt on a C152, and at 15st, it was an interesting conversation with the examiner before the skills test when doing the w&b. That was actually my biggest worry before the test. A mild shrugging of shoulders and the comment "as long as you are aware" was all that happened.

I know exactly where the POHs are for the planes at Synergy, as do l the instructors and students once they've done the first few hours. You are taken through all the paperwork, and specifically how to do w&b checks, and performance based on pressure/density altitude, takeoff and landing distances etc. I am sure that's the same everywhere in the UK, or at least it should be.

What's always concerned me is the insurance aspect, and that in the event of a bad day, one of the first things the AAIB will look at is the w&b.
Howard Long is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2014, 23:40
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: West Coast Canada
Posts: 3,666
Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
I don't know, ignoring the POH seems pretty common everywhere to a greater or lesser extent.

I've had US instructors maintain that I should be flying final in a PA28 at 75knots with the carb heat on. I've also threatened to beat said US instructors over the head with said POH to illustrate the point

G
re Carb heat: True for a Pa 28 but every SEP Cessna POH I have has the following item in the before landing checklist.

Quote Caburetor Heat.....On (apply full heat before closing throttle) Unquote

The practice of turning off the carb heat on final seems to be an almost universal at UK flying schools and no one seems to carry the original of the POH in the aircraft, therefore this has led me to conclude that following the POH procedures does not appear to be a priority.
Big Pistons Forever is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2014, 23:43
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: West Coast Canada
Posts: 3,666
Originally Posted by Howard Long View Post

I learnt on a C152, and at 15st, it was an interesting conversation with the examiner before the skills test when doing the w&b. A mild shrugging of shoulders and the comment "as long as you are aware" was all that happened.
An unbelievable lack of professionalism on the part of the examiner
Big Pistons Forever is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.