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Piper Airplane Pilot seat back folding forward, Is this normal??

Posted by zavento on 11.11.13 at 09:35 AM

I am maintaining two Piper arplanes, Piper PA-32R-300 and
PA-34-200. lately our local authorities during their annual inspection , have noticed that the Pilot seat back does not have any lock and it fold forward whenever some one pushes from the back.
It is the same for both airplanes,and our Authorities were not happy from the situation and they want if this is normalalthough the seat P/N s are correctly installed.
Appreciate your reply
Thank you

Your rating: None
bob.pasch on Tue, 11/12/2013 - 07:35

That's by design! The premise is that someone is always in the pilot's seat. The co-pilot's seat back has a lock mechanism that must be operational to be airworthy. That premise is that this seat is not always occupied and could interfere with controls in flight.

Still in doubt? Check the IPC...


May you always have a tail wind and keep your scarf out of your rudder...

Zaven Torossian (not verified) on Tue, 11/12/2013 - 09:43

Thanks a lot BOB
your explanation was very helpful.

bob.pasch on Wed, 11/13/2013 - 06:50



May you always have a tail wind and keep your scarf out of your rudder...

Darrin Carlson (not verified) on Wed, 11/13/2013 - 08:47

Darrin Carlson Via LinkedIn

That is common on most Pipers, they do not have any type of seat back locking device.

Francisco Daffre (not verified) on Thu, 11/14/2013 - 10:21

If you are talking about the seat back of the co-pilot front seat, in my PA-32 there are two latches/handles:

- One (the left one I believe) that unlocks the back and forth movement, thus allowing a passenger in the middle row to slide the front seat forward and use the front door.
- Another that prevents the seat from folding forward during operations, when no one is in the copilot seat. If you reduce speed and dive, the seat back could fold forward and lock the controls, preventing you from pulling the yoke back and nose up.

I recently did the seat covers and I understand how easy it is to remove that lock and still have the right seat PN on it.

Since the slide forward feature is not really practical, I can see someone eliminating both handles, cables and locks to make the back of the seat look nicer. I used Airtex covers and the co-pilot side has two openings in seat back to access the original handles. They are not nice, but after I understood why they were there, I kept them!

I might have pictures, and will be glad to take some from the seat if you need. The locks should not be hard to fabricate (assuming it is legal do so).

By Francisco Daffre via LinkedIn

bob.pasch on Fri, 01/31/2014 - 11:56

No sir, the question is the pilot's seat...


May you always have a tail wind and keep your scarf out of your rudder...