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Any heavy set pilots out there?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by -, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Guest

    Are there any heavy set pilots out there? I know flying is a thin persons game, but I've always had an interest in learning to fly. The trouble is, I weigh about 300lbs and I know that planes aren't really built for people that big. Any advice(other than lose weight)?
     
  2. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    So long as you don’t have any weight-related health problems (BP, diabetes, etc), I think the biggest drawback is the impact of your weight on the performance of the small (read: inexpensive) A/C that student pilots typically train in.

    The check pilot who gave me my private SEL ticket is a captain for Northwest. He’s so large we couldn’t both fit comfortably in the cockpit of a C-152 unless he threw one arm around the back of my seat. We looked like a ‘dating’ couple in a movie theater. I have no clue how this guy manages to keep his medical. Good genes, I guess.

    A lot of learning to fly entails learning judgment, limiting risk, and planning for the unexpected. The challenge to you would be just to incorporate into all your planning the knowledge that you’ve always got to generate a bit more lift than those other guys.
     

  3. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

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    At 300 you'll have some extra expenses cause you'll need bigger craft than you other wise would. C172 at least for training.

    I was about 240 when I trained but I was fortunate to find a petiete female instructor so we got along fine in the 152. But it was another story with the Check Pilot and the DE.

    When I was up with them the check list went.......

    Preflight Inspection COMPLETE
    Seats,belts ADJUST AND LOCK
    Fuel Shut off Valve ON
    Radios OFF
    Cabin Doors Ok Chad, On three breathe in slam at the same time.... 1, 2, 3, SLAM , exhale CLOSE AND LATCHED.

    After a couple of stalls and a few unusual attitudes you forget that some guy has his arm around you.
     
  4. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    Hey, it was quite warm enough where I was sitting without him sharing his body heat, thank you very much. ;)
     
  5. Superfueler

    Superfueler Glockenplane

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    I am about 6'4" with long legs, and I was going to get checked out in a 152, because I could rent it for about $15 an hour less than the 172 I was flying. I never even started the engine on the thing, cause I couldn't move the yoke fully left and right, because my knees were in the way.
     
  6. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    I am a 250-pound powerlifter and fit into a Warrior without any problem. 172s seem to have more shoulder room. If it's just me, I take a Tomahawk, but passengers can't come along. I would love to fly a Cherokee Six if I had the bucks and access to one.
     
  7. hapuna

    hapuna Trusted Member

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    Wait a minute did you do a Weight and Balance for him??? There is no way the 152 was within limits unless you weigh about 50lbs!!;f
     
  8. hapuna

    hapuna Trusted Member

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    If you train in a 172 or similar plane you should have no problem. A cute, slender female CFI would be the ticket!!;f
     
  9. STYX

    STYX

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    240 here - too many days in the weight room.

    No problem with another heavier guy (250+) in a warrior - never flew anything smaller... just watch the CG as mentioned.
     
  10. bigjim

    bigjim

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    My sole flight experience to date (but not for long) was a half hour of dual in an ultralight. I weight about 385. The pilot, a grizzled old character in Key West, looked me in the eye as we taxied and said "What kinda weight we talkin' about here?"

    I told him and we proceeded. Worked out fine, but it was a short, low, and slow flight.

    I would imagine it gets pretty tight in the cockpit of many GA planes when you're as big as I am, but I haven't been there yet.
     
  11. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    They don't call me 'Slim' for nothing! :cool:
     
  12. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

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    The 152 is so routinely overloaded that there's better justification for a over gross weight than there was for the original certification gross.
     
  13. JTR

    JTR

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    Well, I’m no Smurf (6’1” 285), I don’t fit too well into a 150/152 or any Mooney, but a 172 is alright. I did my primary training in a Cherokee 140 and all my instrument training in an Archer. The nicest thing I’ve ever spent any amount of time in is an old ’58 J-35; just like a Cadillac. It’ll cost a bit more, but a 4-place Piper or Cessna would probably suit you just fine.
     
  14. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

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  15. Guest

    Thanks for the advice guys. I've looked into rental costs of the different planes and the cost of the larger plane(a 172) is not that bad.
     
  16. beachside39

    beachside39

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    The FBO (fixed base operator) where you rent your airplane can tell you what aircraft you need to carry the weight.

    You wouldn't have a problem with a 172 if you are alone in the front but the book says a max of 340# in the front seats, if I remember right. So, you'd need a 40# flight instructor.... :~) Seriously, I've owned two 172s and they are very forgiving airplanes. My wife and I together weight about 520# and we've flown 172s often (with reduced fuel load and no baggage) but prefer a 182 or 206 because of it's space, performance and capacity.

    The other issue I have is elbow room between me and the passenger or instructor in the right seat. It's pretty tight with me weighing in at 276#. Again, the 182 or 206 provides more elbow room.

    The 152 would be out of the question at this point however. The fun airplanes that I've flown in the past are simply not possible any more... the Citabria, Stinson, Ercoupe, Cessna 120, etc. I love taildraggers and aerobatics but not again until I lose some significant weight. I know how tough that is.
     
  17. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    Nope, not a limitation, that's just where the W&B chart stops. You can load it heavier, you just have to the math for W&B instead of using the chart.
     
  18. S2CPitts

    S2CPitts

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    Im right around 300 and have 150 or so hours in a 172. I never even tried a 152, and dont plan on it. When I started the flight training, the chief instructor allready had it set up for me to use a 172 at the 152 price... My instructor was around 170 or so, And I have flown 3 deep in one with just shy of full tanks...
    Chris
     
  19. hapuna

    hapuna Trusted Member

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    If you're going for a checkride the Examiner doesn't care what you are able to stuff into a 152 all he cares about are what the W&B says and what your calculations show. Believe me you can easily be out(as my instructor pointed out to me when we did the numbers for the 2 of us in a 152).
    For my seaplane ride in a 172 I had to make sure we had about half fuel so that the Examiner and I weren't out of W&B. He did ask and he did check my calculations.:)
     
  20. Peteinco

    Peteinco

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    An overweight 152 can be scary stuff, especially in the high density-altitudes. I weigh about 270, and I had full fuel and a friend that weighed 230 one day at KFNL (about 5300ft) on a 90 degree day. Barely gaining altitude with the horn screaming the whole way around the pattern is a ring slammer for sure. Disclaimer: This was back when I was much more cavalier about W&B.

    I do find the Archer/Cherokee more accomodating to heavier people than the 172 though.