Monday, June 20, 2005

Time to write something

Haven't had much to say the last week, sorry fans. Got an e-mail that the Canadian and Alaskan maps package is on the way. Once that arrives, I'll just need a couple of sectionals, and that should do it. Throw it all in a box, see how much it weighs, then try to figure out how many less pairs of socks I can bring with me and still remain under max gross weight.

Anyone know if it's legal to remove the rear seat from a 172 and fly without it? I mentioned this to my A&P recently, and he didn't think it was kosher to do so. Something about not complying with the type certificate. Perhaps a call to the local FSDO might find the answer. Like many pilots, however, I disdain voluntary contact with the FAA.

My skepticism is heightened by the number of pilots I counsel via the AOPA Legal Services Plan. Can't share too many specific details, lest I violate attorney-client privilege. I can say that some of the investigations and enforcement actions are well-grounded and justified. A substantial number of them, however, are pure bunk and smack of bureaucrats running up their statistics to justify their agency's budgetary request from Congress next year. *Rant mode off*

Starting to pay a bit more attention to the large-scale weather systems that are developing. Last year's trip with Dad was substantially impacted by weather, primarily a tropical storm that moved up the Atlantic seaboard and ruined all of our carefully laid plans. You can read about it here.

Tomorrow, our hero departs to pursue his other hobby -- soccer refereeing -- for a week at this tournament. So don't expect much to be posted in the interim.


John said...

The rear seat can be removed, but the equipment list must be updated along with the weight and balance as well as the airframe logbook. I know because I did this once so I could ferry a rebuilt flap for a Cessna 172 from Ukiah, CA to Oakland. We wanted to get the flap back so we could get a downed plane back on line. It had taken the trucking freight company a week to deliver the flap and we didn't want to wait another week to get it back.

The repair shop assured me that with the rear seat out, the rebuilt flap would fit inside a 172 and they were right. The mechanics removed the rear seat, updated the w&b airframe logbook, and the equipment list before we left. We used the rear seatbelts to secure the flap for the trip home. When we got back, the mechanics installed the seat, restored the w&b and updated the other docs.

IFR Pilot said...

Thanks for those insights, John. Sounds like a heck of a lot of trouble to go through just to gain 10 or 15 pounds increase in available load (though I admit that I haven't actually weighed the seat to see how heavy it actually is). The bigger issue -- one highlighted by your story about the flap -- is that the seat compromises one's ability to pack the rear compartment efficiently with things like tents, etc. I suspect we'll just do our best and pack lightly. A few weeks on the Atkins diet might help also! At least we won't be likely to move the CG beyond the aft limit.