? for pilots

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules

Elvis

Chief Master Sergeant
3,981
3,592
Nov 24, 2007
Little Norway, U.S.A.
I've always heard you have to fly solo in a Piper Cub from the back seat.
I figure its for balance, but what happens if you try to fly solo from the front seat?

P.S. - I am not a pilot. I've never flown a plane or ever received any instruction, thereof. I'm just curious about what would happen.
 
Last edited:

about 85% of my flight time over the last half century is in a J3.

Virtually all J3's can be legally solo'd from the front seat (though I can't imagine why anyone would want to).
Very few are placarded for solo from rear seat only, and there is a straight forward procedure for removing that placard from almost all of those (most of those placards were installed through ignorance when not required). I have legally flown solo from the front seat when I weighed 233 pounds. Since the plane was within the cg envelope, it flew fine.

The Testerman tricycle gear doesn't require an STC in order to be mounted on a J3 or PA11. It is a logbook entry covered by Notes 210 & 211 of the TCDS A-691 (page 14 of 21 if I remember correctly).
 
Hi Elvis,
Every flyable aircraft has a Centre Of Gravity envelope, mentioned by Snautzer. This is usually stated in the aircraft certification or documentation. The C of G envelope is part of the aircraft limitations and it is specific to the weights and their positions in the aircraft. Very simply, if there is too much weight at the wrong position, it will cause lack of controllability or instability or even excessive stability. Generally, the lighter the aircraft, the more critical the position and weight of anything, such as the Pilot, becomes.
It is possible that some aircraft (very early or total amateur types) exist without documentation of a safe C of G envelope but, it will exist non-the-less or the aircraft will be unflyable in a normal way.
An example was the wood and fabric gliders that I learned to fly at age 15. We had to fly with a removable cast-iron ballast weight in the nose if below a body weight of about 100lbs.

Eng
 
So, it's not that one must solo from the back seat of a Cub, it's just considered a good idea, mainly due to visibility and maintaining controllability in flight.

...sound about right, guys?
 
Elvis: Nope, it's going to depend on the individual airplane airplane, and the particular pilot. Not every Cub out there weighs the same and has the exact same CG envelope. Add to that, that no two pilots weigh exactly the same, and one must run the weight and balance numbers for the individual aircraft before knowing if it can be soloed from the front seat by that specific aircraft and pilot combination.
 
I'm a low time pilot, never flew a Piper Cub, but have flown in one.
It was explained to me this way.
The front passenger is sitting just about on the usual center of gravity, the rear seat is behind the center of gravity. So the aircraft is trimmed by the pilot for that rear shift to the center of gravity. If he adds a passenger to the front seat the aircraft might not need any change in trim at all, or if it does, it's very little.
If the aircraft is flow solo from the front seat it's trimmed for that center of gravity situation, then if you add a passenger to the rear seat , you have to adjust the trim quite a bit. If you takeoff without adjusting the trim for the rear weight, you'll be holding a lot of forward stick to keep the tail from dropping too much. Requiring some quick trim adjustment during a fairly busy stage of the takeoff when you need most of your attention outside the cockpit.
 
If you add some Tundra tires it throws the CG out of wack too. Can make the ship nose heavy and out of gross with 2 folks if the tires are too big. Our Citabria has giant tires and we often throw the dog in the back to help with the CG. PAX
 
If you add some Tundra tires it throws the CG out of wack too. Can make the ship nose heavy and out of gross with 2 folks if the tires are too big. Our Citabria has giant tires and we often throw the dog in the back to help with the CG. PAX
Sure, that makes sense.
Can't you just add more trim to compensate for the tires?
Maybe in your particular case, the tires are too big for that?
 
Sure, that makes sense.
Can't you just add more trim to compensate for the tires?
Maybe in your particular case, the tires are too big for that?
You do but it's not enough and you have to watch out for trim stall. This is the rig before we put on even bigger tires. PAX

1699893272886.png
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Back