Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Freddy. In your experience is there a safe way to accomodate a heavier pilot. I also love to fly drifters and would like to buy one but my weight makes me question the safety of doing so.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Geoff,


The way we used to accomodate heavier pilots was to put them in the back seat. Obvious problem with this is you always need some balast for the front seat.


Another annoying characteristic for this balast is the reqirement that the balast must have a pilot certificate as the front seat is the command seat!


Apart from that, you would need to have a 19 reg drifter so you could modify the beastie to get the C of G correct.


For certified drifters, the rear seat is close to the C of G, but it may be possible to add balast to the seat backing safely to give you the correct C of G. This could be removeable and flagged so it is not left in advertently by lighter pilots. We always had balast for under the front seat when instructing. In those days there were many students and pilots under the 65kg mark. Item one on the check list "Balast installed or removed as required" It would reduce you max passenger/baggage load, but you would still be flying.


There is no substitution for weighing the aircraft in the configuration and doing the sums. It is not difficult to do. When the aircraft is on the scales, weigh empty and do the proper sums. Then sit in front seat, repeat sums, play around with balast weight and do sums, repeat in several different configurations.


It is good to be around the top end of the front seat range, as this will put the nose down when stalled. A very good thing.


I am quite heavy as well (much heavier than when I first started flying them) and my drifter flies quite well with me around the top end of limits.


Hope this is helpful.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Weight added near the CofG has a very reduced effect on the actual CofG position. Weight added in the allowable CofG range, that is "it's" CofG is "in the range" cannot put you into a dangerous situation, as far as balance is concerned, (but of course the weight is added to total) that's why wing tanks are easier to deal with than fuselage ones located fore and aft of the pilot(s) station. It's illegal to have a balanced plane that relies on useable fuel to stay in the range. Large ones do sometimes, but for us the rule is clear. It's OK to use pilot weight as you normally stay with the plane for the duration of the flight. Nev



  • Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...