Piper PA-28 Ballast Weight Installation

In this mechanic feild report we breakdown our installation of ballast weight in a flight schools Piper PA-28-140. 

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Background

Piper PA-28 Ballast Weight Installation​

Aircraft: 1971 Piper PA-28-140

This piper Cherokee is operated in a flight school, and does a lot of flying. It was brought to our attention when the pilots could not get the center of gravity to fall within allowable limits. With two 200 lb people in the front seats and full fuel the aircraft was out of forward CG. After many weight and balance calculations it was determined that removable ballast weight would be the best solution for the aircraft. This make and model of aircraft has a history of having a forward favoring CG. If one of your customers is having a CG issue this MFR maybe useful. 

Video Overview

Tools & Materials

Piper PA-28 Ballast Weight Installation​

Bellow is a list of tools and materials we used to complete the job.

Tools

Materials

How To Install Ballast Weight In Piper PA-28

  1. Gather materials for the project. We used materials from our local hardware store, and aeroperformance.com

  2. Measure and drill two holes in floor board (7/8). This is where the threaded rod will be inserted. Make sure threaded rod and nut underneath floorboard will not contact or interfere with flight controls or other aircraft components. 

  3. Cut two 36 inch peices of 2×6 board, and drill 7/8 inch holes in both boards. These will be used to sandwich the weights to provide a stable platform for the weights.

  4. Cut two 1 ft lengths from the 7/8 inch treaded rod.

  5. Cut 6in x 6in reinforcement plates from 2024T3 aluminum sheet. Then drill 7/8 hole in the centers.

  6. Install threaded rod with hardware onto floorboard with nuts on both top and bottom sides of floor. Include aluminum reinforcement plates on top and bottom of floor.

  7. Install bottom 2×6 board. Install 25 lb weights as needed. Install top 2×6 board. Install washers and nuts.

  8. Drill hole in threaded rod for safety pins.

  9. Install safety chain at passenger seatbelt attach points. We used AN-3 Bolts, Chain and D-Ring for quick removal and installation.

Resources

Piper PA-28 Ballast Weight Installation​

  1. AC43-13-1B Page. 10-19
  2. FAA TCDS Piper PA-28
  3. Piper PA-28 Service Manual

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Michael Sawyer

Michael Sawyer

Michael is an A&P / IA with 15 years experience in aviation maintenance. This experience includes general aviation, corporate, and military. Michael has owned and operated aviation businesses since 2015. Currently he's helping others with aviation maintenance entrepreneurship. Email: msawyer@phalanxaviation.com