PA-32 Seating

I have a Lance with forward facing seats. Is it possible to change the second row, so they will face the rear of the plane?(club seating)


  • Does anyone have actual experience... I have a '76 forward facing Six and want to convert the seats. Selling the plane is not aqn option.
  • The first thing you need to do is find a set of middle row club seats. That is going the be the biggest cost.(That is IF you can find them.) Most people get scared off when they find out how much the salvage lots charge. You also need to figure the cost of covering the seat.
  • > is there an stc available for older pa32 - 260's for club seating

    Not that I know of.
  • AOPA made this change in their "win-a-Six" aircraft. You might contact them, or the current owner, for a copy of the 337 and diagrams they had done.
  • Club seating has its advantages. For a start, the middle row with front facing seats has next to no leg room if the pilot and copilot have their own seats way back. Second, sometimes the pax in the back do like to talk to each other. Third, emergency egress for all pax is a lot easier with club seating. Fourth, I fly with the seat behind me removed, and typically with the two kids in the back and my wife in the copilot's seat. This means she has the option of moving back to the seat behind her during the flight to play with or otherwise interact with the kids. Works very nicely, although it's less of an issue since I installed the video screens in the back...
  • Heck, I've moved up and back from the front seats to the rear seats in an Archer and I'm 62. No big deal, even with the trim.

  • The leg room of the second row when forward facing is not really a problem. If the front seats are anywhere near the location where the pilot can reach the pedals, there is plenty of leg room for an adult. I have carried 6 adults in a Lance on several occasions. The only 'trick' is getting the pilot into his seat if he gets in after the middle row. But since we pilots are used to the plane, it is not really a big deal. If you trust your co-pilot to help, then you can get it first, then the middle row, then the co-pilot.
    Also, 6 hour trips with adutls in the middle row are is not a worry 'cause you can't take full fuel anyway with 6 of today's normal adults anyway. The longest legs where I took 6 adults was a three leg trip of 1.5, 1.0, 1.5 where each stop was a couple of hours. It would have taken 2 days by car and then it would have involved a cramped back seat in a car anyway.

    Actually, there might be just as much leg room in the middle row as you get in coach now days.
  • > Also, I wouldn't want my wife to move into the back of
    > the airplane during flight... How does yours do this
    > anyway? Is she a yoga instructor? Also, 200lbs of weight
    > shift going on during flight is not my idea of fun...

    With the seat behind me removed and with the central console also out of there, it's very easy to do, especially since the seat behind the copilot folds down. As to the shift in balance, it really doesn't make that much difference. The center of gravity moves about 1.5" if you do the math, and it's a very minor trim adjustment.

    Re Tony's points on conventional seating, they are all reasonable. I just wanted to answer the blanket association that no-one in their right mind would want club seating. Different people in good faith have different opinions on this matter, that's all.
  • Actually, going from club to all forward may cost NO dollars. You just need to find someone that is looking at $10k to convert from forward to club and offer to swap seats if he pays for all the work. He would be getting off cheap and you will get a better seating arrangement.

    I have a forward facing lance (my second) and I would not have a club seat version.
  • Rob Wrote:
    > Let me weigh in on this discussion. Is the cabin
    > for the PA-32 the same as the pa-34 Seneca?


    > Seems to me I
    > could get into a forward facing seat cherokee
    > cheaper than a club. I am an A & P mechanic with
    > access to all the maintenance resources I would
    > need to undertake a project like this, so cost is
    > less of a concern...

    You will need different seats for the middle row of club seating. Can't just take the existing seats and turn them around - they aren't built for the different forces one would encounter in a crash. Generally speaking aft-facing middle seats are hard to find in the salvage market and quite expensive when you do find them. I'd price them before buying a forward-facing airframe and planning on converting it.

  • Hey guys,

    New to the website - have been a comanche 260 owner and more recently last october got into a PA-32-300 1973 in really great shape. Have been upgrading some avionics and have had the club seating mod in my head the whole time as we have the 7 forward facing seats (and by 7 I mean really an arm rest lol).

    Are there any websites that offer information on this? I have been told that inorder to do it you have to tap into the wing spar for the seat belts and attachment points - is this true?

    Looking at other mods it seems that the seats would have no problem being spun around and mounted but I continue to hear horror stories about them, suggestions?

  • unityfm Wrote:
    > ... a PA-32-300 1973 ...

    Piper didn't introduce club seating until 1977. Converting your aircraft will require a 337 with field approval.

    > Are there any websites that offer information on
    > this?

    Search back history here and the archives over on Cherokee Chat. It's been discussed lots of times in both places.

    Cherokee Chat:

    > I have been told that inorder to do it you
    > have to tap into the wing spar for the seat belts
    > and attachment points - is this true?

    I don't know the technical details at that level, but you certainly need something pretty substantial to restrain the occupants in a crash.

    > Looking at other mods it seems that the seats
    > would have no problem being spun around and
    > mounted but I continue to hear horror stories
    > about them, suggestions?

    See my post immediately above yours. The aft-facing seats are built differently than the forward-facing ones in order to restrain the occupants in a crash. Their mounting to the aircraft is different as well. Forward-facing seats don't have to carry any loads during a crash - the seatbelts do all the work. With aft-facing seats, the seat itself does all the work. While you *can* physically spin your existing seats around, no IA who knows PA32's would ever consider it airworthy.

  • Thanks for the heads up joe - appreciate all the information! Super usefuL!
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