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Location of Elevator Trim Lever

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  • Location of Elevator Trim Lever

    After installing the seat, and the elevator trim system, I am thinking that there is a better location for the trim lever than in the ceiling behind my head. I am also thinking that changing it to reside on the side of the fuselage now would not be a big deal. But I second guess myself because I have no experience flying the Patrol and could be might be a good location. Making changes to the design is normally cautioned. But I noticed that Dennis and Dona moved it to the side.

    Give me some feed back. If you are flying an LSA or Patrol and have the trim lever in the factory location, do you thing about it much? If its something that is widely never given much thought after one starts flying, I will keep it in the factory location.
    Brooks Cone
    Southeast Michigan
    Patrol #303, Kit build

  • #2
    The stock location works fine for me. I would think that one would quickly get used to any location, as long as it's conveniently within reach. The trim system is very effective, requiring little movement.. I find the overhead lever easy and natural.



    • #3
      Builders often think that the location aft and behind the front seat will be uncomfortable. And perhaps it is the first time or two it is used. But you quickly get used to it. Of course - it is in that location so the rear seat person/pilot can reach it also.

      A few have run an aluminum tube forward with a 90 bend at the forward end. With Adel clamps. Attached at the aft end to the existing trim lever. That is an easy and light way to place trim reach forward. Mark


      • #4
        In my Patrol experience, I've found that I seldom need to adjust the elevator trim, which would make me more willing to compromise on the ergonomics of the lever if I were building one.


        • #5
          Here's an interesting thought. I know Donna came from a Citabria where the trim is by your left hip where it's easily accessible from the pilot seat by hand, and from the passenger seat with the left foot (yeah, I thought it was pretty cool, too). I flew my BFR recently with the same instructor who taught me tailwheel in a Citabria. We were discussing accident modes, and this trim system came up in conversation. The difference between where the throttle is and where the trim is in these planes is just a matter of where your hand happens to be at the time. When you're setting up for a landing, you reach down and trim for your approach angle and speed. So that's where your hand is. According to my instructor, in a high-tension situation, if one has to punch it to go around, on more than one occasion a pilot has "firewalled" the trim instead of the throttle and pushed the airplane forward into the ground. I haven't checked the NTSB records to validate this use case, but he's a FAAST Team rep, so I trust his stories. Another good reason, in my opinion, to keep it overhead.
          ​Christopher Owens, EAA #808438
          Project "Expedition"
          Bearhawk 4-Place Scratch Built, Plans #991
          Bearhawk Patrol Scratch Built, Plans #P313
          Germantown, Wisconsin, USA


          • #6
            I like that Adel Clamp/Aluminum tube idea!
            Brooks Cone
            Southeast Michigan
            Patrol #303, Kit build


            • #7
              Brooks changing to the side was one of the easier things we had to do. The location is low enough to not ever be confused with the prop, which is up by the window. Dennis’ Pacers trim was over head in the center. My reason for the switch was it was how I flew for 24 yrs and a bit of a bad left shoulder. My opinion is a slight move to the side for a slight bit of trim is way more comfortable than up and back with the whole arm. Dennis apparently thought so too.😊 If you or anybody else is interested, I will find the photo's of what we did and post them. D.
              Last edited by Flygirl1; 04-14-2018, 10:02 AM.


              • #8
                Does anyone know of anyone else that has used a trim wheel system in a LSA or Patrol? Just curious. Ive been kicking that idea around in my head. Bad or good, anyone have an opinion on that?


                • #9
                  Given the LSA has a hard gross limit at 1320 lbs, it is best to always think "Is the alternative lighter?"

                  Bob's placement/design works fine for me. I changed the arm slightly(made it out of aluminum instead of steel, connected my cables using shackles instead of the "eye bolts" shown in the plans) but operationally is the same as the plans.


                  • Flygirl1
                    Flygirl1 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I actually took a few ounces off the kit by removing the trim cable guides on top of the fuselage. Also a few more ounces were removed when we drilled holes for the new cable run. ;-) About as much weight loss as trim is needed for this plane. (not a lot, but some.) But...after looking at the photo's we put a little of that loss back on when we when we added new cable guides. Also maybe a little more to fabricate a working trim handle. I would guess you are actually adding a few ounces by changing to the side.
                    Last edited by Flygirl1; 04-15-2018, 10:38 AM.

                  • BTAZ
                    BTAZ commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I don't think moving it should impact the weight very much(presuming you are not duplicating anything) but changing from the lever to a chain/sprocket/crank approach likely would.

                • #10
                  This is what I did on the LSA. Would work on the Patrol as well I think. I used a 3/8" .035 aluminum tube flattened on each end, holes drilled for knob attach on each end. The adel clamp that the tube slides in is a DG-8 (for 1/2" tube) so is loose to let it slide easily. Reaching back behind my head was getting a little harder to do at my age...Lol... although I didn't use to mind it so much in the Aeronca 7-AC Champs I used to fly.