Getting in and out of a Piper Cherokee

27 Replies

Re: Getting in and out of a Piper Cherokee

Posted by David Exe on Jan 1, 2019 9:50 am

What if the top of the ladder  was the width of the ladder (18") and was curved to fit the shape of the wing, was about 8" tall and padded?  Then if it had a couple of hand grips on each side that were leather (or such)?  

If the ladder is at a 60 degree angle with the ground, leaning against the wing, the major weight would be down on the ladder and the force against the wing would be limited. Then spread across the front curve of the wing for 18" and about 4" of the front of the wing.  Seems like that would be workable?  

Re: Getting in and out of a Piper Cherokee

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jan 4, 2019 7:31 pm

David Exe:
What if the top of the ladder  was the width of the ladder (18") and was curved to fit the shape of the wing, was about 8" tall and padded?  Then if it had a couple of hand grips on each side that were leather (or such)?  

If the ladder is at a 60 degree angle with the ground, leaning against the wing, the major weight would be down on the ladder and the force against the wing would be limited. Then spread across the front curve of the wing for 18" and about 4" of the front of the wing.  Seems like that would be workable?  

At that angle, half the weight would be against the wing.  I wouldn't do that.  And how will you put it in the airplane to check fuel at the other end of the flight?  Just get one of those folding steps.

Re: Getting in and out of a Piper Cherokee

Posted by Keith Monteith on Jan 7, 2019 10:44 am

As a 12 year Cardinal RG owner, my mission dictated a high wing aircraft as my wife has MS and cannot do much more than stand, so that's the only airplane she can get into.  As previously mentioned, having the two doors that open 90 degrees and no strut is the key differentiator with every other airplane.  Regarding fueling, every self-service pump I've been to has had a ladder for fueling Cessnas, typically a four or five step, 6' tall ladder that allows you to stand on the 2d or 3d step and lean against the upper steps for stability.  I have a 2 lb short folding step stool in the baggage compartment, but I've honestly never had to use it.  

Re: Getting in and out of a Piper Cherokee

Posted by David Exe on Jan 7, 2019 11:22 am

Reason to look for something other than a step stool is that there is nothing to hold onto to support yourself. It was not an issue when I was 30 years old. It certainly is now that I am 76 and will be even more so when I am 80.  Balance, flexibility and dexterity have all been affected. Additionally the need for it is when doing pre-flight where refueling ladders would not be readily available.

There are numerous collapsible ladders that would easily fit into the storage. Fold down to less than a step stool.  

Unless my math fails me:  At a 60 degree angle with the ground, and a 250 lb person, I would anticipate that the force against the wing of the plane would be 60 lbs.  That is, if the individual is 3' up from the ground. 

If there were a 4"x19" cupped, padded, support across the top that conformed to the shape of the leading edge of the wing the force on that would be less than 1 lb/sqin.  I would anticipate that the forces on the wing from using the steps built into the spar, or using a step stool and then leaning against the wing would be greater.  

What I would envision would be a 3 step collapsible ladder with the bottom three steps at 12" apart when extended. That would keep people from using it to climb up on the wing or getting too high to exert too much pressure against the wing. There would be a 6' extendable section(s) above that with the top cupped and rubber padded, that would rest against the wing. It would extend back along the top of the wing for some distance, determined as necessary to assure it did not slip off the wing. Standing on the top rung at 3' above the ground would allow the person to use their knees against the inside of the ladder for lateral support. hand grips on either side would allow for gripping with either hand for additional support.  The top could be hinged to allow for more compact storage if needed. Total height when collapsed would be less than 39"x 19"x 4".  Total weight would be in the range of 10 lb depending on materials.


 

Re: Getting in and out of a Piper Cherokee

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jan 8, 2019 12:27 pm

David Exe:
Unless my math fails me:  At a 60 degree angle with the ground, and a 250 lb person, I would anticipate that the force against the wing of the plane would be 60 lbs.  That is, if the individual is 3' up from the ground. 

I'd like to see your calculations on that.  I just wouldn't do that.

Re: Getting in and out of a Piper Cherokee

Posted by David Exe on Jan 9, 2019 12:16 am

The force against the plane will be the weight of the ladder plus the quantity of the weight of the person times the ratio of the distance up the ladder divided by the length of the ladder and all of that divided by the tan of the angle with the ground.  Or  (10lb + 250lb(3'/8'))/tan 60 deg or (10+ 250(.375))/1.7320508 = 103.75/1.73 = 59.97 lb.
 

Re: Getting in and out of a Piper Cherokee

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jan 9, 2019 1:20 pm

I still wouldn't do it.

Re: Getting in and out of a Piper Cherokee

Posted by Marshall Woods on Jan 14, 2019 9:43 am

I own a 1976 Piper Cherokee 150. I love the airplane.  However getting in and out presents a challenge. As i get older i imagine it will be more challenging.