The Sasquatch Flying Club

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Tiger Tim

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Apr 26, 2013
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3,138
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Thunder Bay
As Hephaestus said on the Ranger thread:

242lbs, 6'3 size 12 boots lol. I am the Sasquatch pilot :)
I too am a Sasquatch pilot at 6’5, size 13 and probably north of 230 so when someone jokes, “That Tim will fly anything,” I unfortunately have to correct them with, “That Tim will fly anything he fits in.” So for the other giants of the forum, what have you found fits and what doesn’t?

My fit list:
Anything certified, the absolute gold standard being the back seat of a Cub. So roomy back there. I can also squeeze into a short fuselage Aircamper if I take my shoes off and a Corben Super Ace looks like it’s going to work (so excited for that one). I can miraculously jam myself into a Sindlinger Hurricane but haven’t flown it. One Baby Ace at my home field.

The no-fits:
Jodel D-9, Fly Baby (surprisingly), VP-1 is tight enough to weird me out about trying to operate it. The other Baby Ace on the field.

There are a bunch of others for both lists but I’ve had a long day in the sun and they’re not coming to me right now. What have you other Sasquatches among us found?
 

Tench745

Active Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
42
Location
Syracuse, NY
My dad and I are both 6'2 with size 15 feet, both under 200. We went to visit Bill Woods and sit in a bunch of Aces. We just managed to cram ourselves into a Jr Ace. Couldn't fit in one Baby, did okay in another. It seems that people (short people) love extending the panel DOWN past the cross-tube in the fuselage and eating up any knee room.
 

rdj

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Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
311
Location
Northern California
The problem is that fit is a very personal experience. Two pilots can be the same height and weight, but have very different leg and torso lengths and shoulder widths, and what is comfortable for one pilot will be impossible for the other. Being 6'-6" and 200 lbs and size 15 (US) myself, I run into this issue all the time. More than once I've read that a pilot near my height is comfortable in a plane, only to find that the fit is not even close for me when I try the same model on for size. In my experience the only way to really know for sure is to attend the shows, visit the FBO, or find an accommodating owner nearby and try a plane on for size personally before committing to anything. Homebuilts are even worse, because they tend to be customized to the pilot builder, as your experience with the Baby Ace demonstrates.

Also watch out for 'quirks' in some aircraft. For example, I fit just fine in the Pipestrel Sinus. However, the wing spar passes right in my front of my forehead, and the odds of my surviving any turbulence in that plane are rather slim.
 

Marc W

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Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Messages
432
Location
Colorado
While I am a bit short of belonging to the true Sasquatch club, I do have big feet and a long torso. I have a special pair of shoes I wear to fly so my big feet don't catch on stuff under the panel and headroom is a problem in many homebuilts.

It seems that people (short people) love extending the panel DOWN past the cross-tube in the fuselage and eating up any knee room.
There is a Baby Ace for sale locally that I tried to get into. The wings are off so I was able to get in without to much trouble. However, my knees are hard against the bottom of the panel. The panel can probably be raised and maybe the rudder pedals can be moved forward for leg room but I really wonder if I can get into one with the wings on? Not a bad price on this one although it hasn't flown for some time. https://westslope.craigslist.org/avo/d/cedaredge-1965-baby-ace/6951525321.html

My flying airplane is a Thatcher CX4. The designer, Dave Thatcher, is tall and says it fits pilots who are 6'4". I am only 6'1". The problem is that Dave is all legs. I am built the opposite. I could fit by removing the cushion and slumping a bit. I raised the canopy so I can use a seat cushion and sit up straight.

I have an Acrosport 1 project airplane that is very roomy in the cockpit. If you are interested in a biplane big people can fit into, you should look at the Acrosport.
 

BJC

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Oct 7, 2013
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11,106
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97FL, Florida, USA
There is a Baby Ace for sale locally that I tried to get into. The wings are off so I was able to get in without to much trouble. However, my knees are hard against the bottom of the panel. The panel can probably be raised and maybe the rudder pedals can be moved forward for leg room but I really wonder if I can get into one with the wings on?
The one Baby Ace that I tried on was easier for me to get into than out of. The limited head room, the struts and the wires between the struts make it more challenging with the wings on.


BJC
 

plncraze

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May 11, 2006
Messages
1,798
I was an A&P in general aviation for a few years and sat in everything I could find. 6'4" approximately 220 lbs. And size 15 shoes. Commander 112 and 114 are awesome! Homebuilts vary but as has been repeated many times know if you are mostly legs or mostly torso. Tailwind and 172 and 182 are nice if you are not too wide. Watch out if the seat is on the spar. If so you might not be able to move it. Also watch for seat back bulkhead which have to be moved.
 

Pops

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Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,052
Location
USA.
I'm 6' x 230 with a long torso and 13 shoes. Was going to buy a Tailwind and taxing it out found that my feet were to long to operate the rudder pedals and toe brakes because of the fuel tank. Taxied back in and went home with my head down. Always wanted a Tailwind.
Have two grandsons that most likely end up with my JMR, both are 6' 5" x 250 lbs, I designed the JMR so they will fit. Has both to set in the cockpit while building to make sure.
Designed the SSSC just to fit me. Bob Barrows (Bearhawk) was going to fly it, but couldn't get his long legs under the instrument panel.
 

Marc W

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Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Messages
432
Location
Colorado
The one Baby Ace that I tried on was easier for me to get into than out of. The limited head room, the struts and the wires between the struts make it more challenging with the wings on.
I expected it would be a chore to get in and out with the wings on. I am not so flexible anymore either. To bad, it is a neat little airplane.
 

pictsidhe

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Jul 15, 2014
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7,427
Location
North Carolina
6'6", 225 and size 14. I think I qualify ;)
I am fairly well balanced legs to torso, so can squeeze into more things than many my height. I do have wide shoulders for my weight, though.
 

bifft

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Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Messages
276
Location
Utah
6'4", 240-260lbs size 13s. Longish in the torso.
Haven't got a lot of experience with different planes but what I have flown:

Cessna 152,172 - could just barely fit in. Have to duck under the wings to see off to the side.

Pitts S-2,S-12. This was a real shoe horn me in. My legs interfered with the control stick, so we couldn't get full aileron in. Only 2 hours or so in these.

Schweizer 2-32 This is ostensibly a 3-person glider, but with just me in the front seat and the instructor in back there was plenty of room.

Starduster Too This was open cockpit, so headroom was "unlimited". But with the cushions everybody else used my head sticking about the windshield. The wind really beats you up. Made my own thinner cushion, or use no cushion when flying with parachute. Shoulders just barely fit inside. Left leg hit throttle/mixture controls limiting left aileron deflection.

RV-8A Built this one myself, so used the "Tall pilot option" which increases the recline of the seat back. Still need the rudder pedals all the way forward, but knees don't hit the panel. Can get full stick deflection. Plenty of room for big shoulders. Use no cushion with parachute, or have small cushion for when taking a passenger (haven't flown with it yet, but plenty of time sitting on it). Do have to duck to close the canopy.
 

perrysplus

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
5
New here, but 6ft6in tall, size 14 shoe with a 36in inseam so pretty evenly balanced. I drive a Mini Cooper and Smart Car so DON'T TELL ME I CANNOT FIT IN THE PLANE! :)
Just got back from trying on a Pietenpol Aircamper (standard size) and I do not fit. I got about halfway in before I couldn't go down in the seat anymore. Super bummed.
I fly a 172 (and fit in a 152 for reference).
I REALLY want to try on a Sonex as I really like them. I have heard I will probably only fit in a Waiex due to them having the lowered seat mod.
The search continues for an affordable flyer.

Oh, I also live near Dave Thatcher and tried on the new CX-7 and fit but the canopy hits me in the head. He Showed me how I can lower the seat a few inches (at least 2 inches maybe 3) and I can also try to go with a thinner cushion as well. He and Glen both were not phased with me trying to fit in the plane, I guess there are a few really tall guys out there that fly them.
I want to try on a CX-4 and CX-5 as well.
 

plncraze

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May 11, 2006
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I hate all these "lower the seat" or"move the bulkhead" changes because lowering the seat does horrible things to the muscles in the back of my legs and when you move the bulkhead you are pushing it to a narrower part of the fuselage. On the other hand raising the canopy makes some airplanes look weird. When Poberezny did the Acro he had a large airline pilot friend sit in it to show who could fit. Paul wasn't small either.
 

pwood66889

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Feb 10, 2007
Messages
1,606
Location
Sopchoppy, Florida, USA
Though not sasquatch-qualified (over 6 ft. [1.8 meters], but only 140 lbs [63.636 kg] all wet with regular feet), I still have to buy airplanes like I buy shoes - they have to fit!
When transitioning from the Cessna 150, I tried a Luscombe but it was too squeezy. My wife and I crawled in and out of 6 or 8 `coupes at the "Used Ercoupe Lot" in Tucumcari, NM, before we settled on one with no radio mounted under the instrument panel. That is a popular place to put avionics as the header tank is about 6 inches in front of the panel. Fred Weick, design lead for ERCO, was over 6 ft. himself. For the taller-in-the-torso set, one can always fly "topless." And not having the floor cluttered with things to push with one's feet... :)
 

Tiger Tim

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Apr 26, 2013
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Thunder Bay
A couple weeks ago I tried cramming into an A40 powered Heath Parasol and as you can imagine my 6’5” frame couldn’t do it. What surprised me though was that if the panel were moved forward 3-4” (completely doable during construction without interfering with load bearing structure) I bet I’d have fit and the A40 is on a long enough engine mount I bet you could move the firewall forward at least 6” for leg room. Overall I was surprised that if I were to build one fitting in it could be easy and maybe worth someone re-drawing to suit the O-100.
 

oldguyflier

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Jan 12, 2013
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4
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Coronado, California
My dad and I are both 6'2 with size 15 feet, both under 200. We went to visit Bill Woods and sit in a bunch of Aces. We just managed to cram ourselves into a Jr Ace. Couldn't fit in one Baby, did okay in another. It seems that people (short people) love extending the panel DOWN past the cross-tube in the fuselage and eating up any knee room.
I'm
 

oldguyflier

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Jan 12, 2013
Messages
4
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Coronado, California
6'5" here with size 12 feet. Got as far as taxiing out with the seller in a nice Sonex (had the check in my shirt pocket). Closed the canopy on us both and freaked out. I was in submarines in the Navy, so claustrophobia not normally a problem. Now own a FlyBaby and am working out cockpit changes, but think it is going to work. Wood is nice!
 

Daleandee

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Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,052
Location
SC
I REALLY want to try on a Sonex as I really like them. I have heard I will probably only fit in a Waiex due to them having the lowered seat mod.
When considering the Sonex the lowered seat mod can be done on the Model A Sonex also. The trick is that the lowered seat mod can't be done on the Model A if it has a single center stick in the middle like my airplane has. The good news is that with the center stick I can sit in the middle of the 40" wide cockpit and use the outside rudder pedals and outside seat belts to make it a really roomy cockpit for solo flying.

Also during the build (it could also be modded later) the windscreen and canopy can be raised to give more room. I don't have an issue with over the ear headphones but if you do then consider an in ear set. I use Clarity Aloft.
 

Dana

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Apr 3, 2007
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9,211
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CT, USA
I'm the FAA standard man, 5'8" and 170#. I can fit in anything (na na na-na na 😛) but when invited to fly a friend's MiniMax I couldn't... he's taller than me and built the plane for his stature, I couldn't reach the rudder pedals.
 

TFF

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Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
12,851
Location
Memphis, TN
Speaking of Model A, my thoughts come to the Ford type or maybe a Willys Jeep. If you have ever put up with one of those, you can put up with a tight cockpit. My foot is big enough, but I had one friend who’s brother has a 17 size foot. My friend’s was like a 9. His shoe would fit in his brother’s. Their dad collected army Jeeps. Those big boats could still work the pedals.

I did not get in a friends Smith Mini plane because I did not think I could get out. Part of the problem is where you can push out from.
 
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