Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

User avatar
By abiopete
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
#1894554
Hi all

Currently learning to fly out of Manchester Barton initially in a C172 which was fine, I could reach everything. However due to mechanical issues i have had to switch to the PA28 which they have 3 of. Now tipping in at around 19 stone ( :pig: used to be 20.5, I’m working on it!) I have an issue with comfort and actually reaching the fuel tank selector and trim lever with the shoulder strap on.

Are there any belt extenders available or has anyone got any experience/suggestions for the heavier pilot?!

Thanks in advance

Pete.
User avatar
By Dodo
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
#1894558
There are various PA28 variants. Do you have the old one with the window winder trim, or the newer one with a trim wheel down by the flap lever?

In the PA28 Archer I have a share in there are some larger pilots (not me) and they don't seem to have any trouble but it does have an inertia reel shoulder strap, (And an electric trim on the yoke, but standard operating procedure is that has to be turned off for take off and landing).
#1894584
I learned on a fleet of PA28s. I'm 16st. There was one in particular in which I could never reach the fuel selector, because there simply wasn't enough slack. I found I could reach it by temporarily putting the shoulder strap below my arm. I had that particular aircraft for my Skills Test, and warned my examiner in advance that I would be doing this.
abiopete liked this
User avatar
By abiopete
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
#1894588
Dodo wrote:There are various PA28 variants. Do you have the old one with the window winder trim, or the newer one with a trim wheel down by the flap lever?

In the PA28 Archer I have a share in there are some larger pilots (not me) and they don't seem to have any trouble but it does have an inertia reel shoulder strap, (And an electric trim on the yoke, but standard operating procedure is that has to be turned off for take off and landing).


Its got the trim by the seat, can manage that though its the flap lever and fuel selector i have trouble with.
User avatar
By abiopete
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
#1894589
Paul_Sengupta wrote:Trim shouldn't be too difficult to get to. For the tank selector, maybe take the shoulder strap off while changing tanks.


Yeah looking like the only way
By Fellsteruk
#1894634
Hey @abiopete
I’m also on the jolly side and 6ft4 so I feel your pain about comfort in pa28. I take it your learning at LAC? If so go and sit in their other PA28’s from memory they have older Cherokee and warriors the warriors are normally better.

I’ve done all my flying in PA28’s and flown about eight different variants what shocks me is how different they all are.

The earlier Cherokee 140, doesn’t have much leg room and seats don’t go back very far then there is the pointless door handle where there is no door.

I also flew a Cherokee 180 which was slightly newer but the seat height was taller so I bumped my head on roof and my legs got in the way.

I’ve personally found archer and arrows better but if your stuck with Cherokee and warrior styles I’d try and go with the warrior and one which has height adjustable seats.

I fly a warrior out of Liverpool and a different one out of hawarden both have great rear adjustment plus seat heigh adjustment which makes for much better experience.

Each one seems to be different and I have bits I love n hate of them all some more than others

I have flown GLACB which is one of LACs warriors and I also found that uncomfortable as the seats are Carp in it so try some of the others and see which is best.

As for shoulder harness only really needed for take off and landing however if it limits your movement don’t use it but explain why as it should be used.

Some pa28 don’t have toe brakes so you have to lean right forward to use the parking brake, I flew once and after discovering I couldn’t reach it properly on touchdown I agreed with instructor if I was to fly that plane again I wouldn’t use shoulder strap during landing and he was ok with that as it was safer not to use it.
By Fellsteruk
#1894637
Rob P wrote:They should never have done away with the 'sunroof' winder.

Rob P


I 2nd that, sure you look like a cowboy but at least you don’t lose the skin from your knuckles like you do on the seat trim.

Only plus some have electronic trim but most I’ve flow have been inop :(
User avatar
By Rob P
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
#1894640
I loved the trimmer in the roof of the Colt, the electric trim on the RV really isn't in the same league for accuracy.

Rob P
#1894709
I'm 6' and 19st in a PA28 (was much more and couldn't fly realistically until sorted that out)

- trim not too bad but the fuel lever deffo agree with and I'll now start undoing the shoulder strap. Nice tip!

- trousers are main issue as in having to undo belt after sitting down to be reasonably comfortable then on getting out after flight having to stand on the wing and pull then do 'em up. Every time. Can't have one's top half in Raybans and Ralph and the bottom in elasticated bags from the market :shock:
abiopete liked this
User avatar
By abiopete
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
#1894744
Fellsteruk wrote:Hey @abiopete
I’m also on the jolly side and 6ft4 so I feel your pain about comfort in pa28. I take it your learning at LAC? If so go and sit in their other PA28’s from memory they have older Cherokee and warriors the warriors are normally better.

I’ve done all my flying in PA28’s and flown about eight different variants what shocks me is how different they all are.

The earlier Cherokee 140, doesn’t have much leg room and seats don’t go back very far then there is the pointless door handle where there is no door.

I also flew a Cherokee 180 which was slightly newer but the seat height was taller so I bumped my head on roof and my legs got in the way.

I’ve personally found archer and arrows better but if your stuck with Cherokee and warrior styles I’d try and go with the warrior and one which has height adjustable seats.

I fly a warrior out of Liverpool and a different one out of hawarden both have great rear adjustment plus seat heigh adjustment which makes for much better experience.

Each one seems to be different and I have bits I love n hate of them all some more than others

I have flown GLACB which is one of LACs warriors and I also found that uncomfortable as the seats are Carp in it so try some of the others and see which is best.

As for shoulder harness only really needed for take off and landing however if it limits your movement don’t use it but explain why as it should be used.

Some pa28 don’t have toe brakes so you have to lean right forward to use the parking brake, I flew once and after discovering I couldn’t reach it properly on touchdown I agreed with instructor if I was to fly that plane again I wouldn’t use shoulder strap during landing and he was ok with that as it was safer not to use it.


Yeah at LAC and the last one i flew last week was GLACB, i'm in GISHA tomorrow weather permitting, i'll see how different that is.

I didn't realise the shoulder harness was optional to be honest, that will be a massive help, thanks for your imput. :thumright:
By Fellsteruk
#1894749
Just check with instructor first though as each is different but ultimately when “in flight” it can be removed and if it limits your ability to have full and free access to the controls then it’s a safety issue if you continue to use it.

On some it rubs the hell out my neck so I often take it off.

I was told a story once by an instructor who said they were doing forced landing training.

The student apparently turned the mags off and pulled the key out, the instructor tried to reach over but was stopped by the shoulder harness and couldn’t get to it in time.

Thankfully, they restarted and was fine but just goes to show…

Good luck with the training and weather :)
#1894757
Fellsteruk wrote:Sounds like you need an all in one flight suit. I mean may be a little odd wearing one and flying a pa28 but people do it.


Knowing my luck the ars3 would split when sitting down and that would ruin the whole £150 coffee and cake experience. Although not for me.
tr7v8 and 1 others liked this