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Modification on PA32

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Modification on PA32

Old 4th Oct 2020, 16:43
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Modification on PA32

Hi all.

I have a 1973 PA32 which has 7 forward facing seats. I would like to change the rear seats into club configuration, but have been advised that club seating was only introduced as an option for models after s/n 32-7740001, and mine does not qualify.

Apparently I would need an STC to allow this modification to be carried out. Does anyone have relevant experience to advise accordingly about finding any existing STC, or going through the motions to obtain one, and the likely work/costs that might involve?

TIA.
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Old 6th Oct 2020, 07:47
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Looking around the internet there doesn't appear to be such an STC - I guess high cost versus small market. The only advice I found was applicable to FAA registered aircraft involving field modification/DER engineering approval.
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Old 6th Oct 2020, 10:24
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Has the old version got the underfloor structure to change the seat round.
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Old 6th Oct 2020, 12:00
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Has the old version got the underfloor structure to change the seat round
That's certainly a part of it, but there is more, and more important: For rear facing seats, the seat[back] itself will be required to support the crash loads prescribed for the plane in it's certification basis. This will be at a minimum 9G and a factor of safety of 1.33 or 1.5. It may be as high as 18G x 1.5. That means that the seat back will have to support at least 2035 pounds, and maybe as much as 4590 pounds. Thereafter, when I approve such installations, I assume that the plane may still crash with a force exceeding the crash load requirement. In such a case, I assume the failure of the seat back, and the occupant striking whatever is next in the path of destruction. I want to assure that nothing in the seat back would be injurious if it collapsed or penetrated the seat back. So, no bracing the seat from it's back side - the bracing could buckle, and become a penetrating danger to the occupant. I really like to see rear facing seats which are up against a robust cabin bulkhead. Larger airplanes which have floor attach seats may be qualified for either direction by the approval of the seat itself, but this is uncommon for light GA planes.

I've done this testing and broken seats in the process. I've also passed a number of seat installations, but it's stressful watching the seat and its attachments deflecting under the test load!
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Old 6th Oct 2020, 22:18
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Sorry to say, took a look in google and this subject seems to be well covered.
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Old 11th Oct 2020, 05:16
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It's well covered, and not worth it/viable.

Are you in the Facebook PA32 Owners group - an exceptional resource.

Safe flights, Sam.
Sam Rutherford is offline  
Old 11th Oct 2020, 11:55
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Join Date: Jan 2017
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Out of curiosity, are the seats tested under dynamic or static load?
thanks
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