Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Colt flight with hand control

The Piper PA22-108 equipped with the hand operated rudder control is an excellent training platform for those with spinal cord injury and lower limb disability.
Once seated in the pilots seat, all systems and flight controls can be operated with left and right hands. For example: the left hand can manipulate the fuel selector, yoke, electrical systems, window and setting of instruments. The right hand: The control yoke, rudder control, wheel brakes, throttle, mixture, carb heat, radio tuning and stabilizer trim. Yes, the right hand is busy but with training and practice, air/ground operations become second nature. Myself and pilot Aaron Skibinski, were able to transition easily to flying the aircraft using the handicap control.
The control is unique in its simplicity. The rudder bar attaches with a shear pin and retaining clip. Installation takes no more than two minutes.
As for flying the aircraft, there is only one limitation when using the hand operated rudder control. Operations are limited to a maximum crosswind component of 10 knots. This limitation also requires the installation and use of shoulder harnesses. Original Colts were delivered from the factory without these but can easily be installed with aftermarket parts and an STC. One more item about the crosswind limitation... This is imposed because the normal human leg can push with approximately 150 pounds of force and the arm only 75-80 pounds.
Also, I can produce a hand control and install it with the appropriate FAA paperwork should they own a Piper PA22 series aircraft.

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