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In this question on the Rutan Vari Eze it is said one of the reasons it parks nose down (gear up) is to bring the Cg forward for stability (so it doesn't tip over) when there is no pilot in the aircraft.

If the pilots weight is that important to move the Cg to a safe position, is there a minimum/maximum weight the pilot must be to bring the Cg to be within acceptable limits?

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure about minimum, but there is always a maximum. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 26 '16 at 14:38
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    $\begingroup$ A minimum wouldn't be surprising either. Such limitations are very often (always ?) encountered on gliders to keep the Cg where it should be. Pilots must add some lead in the cockpit if they are too light. $\endgroup$ – Quentin Oct 26 '16 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ A lot of gliders and other light aircraft have minimum and maximum weights, and will need extra ballast added for light pilots. $\endgroup$ – Cooper Oct 26 '16 at 14:52
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According to the Owner's manual,

The air plane can structurally accommodate pilots or passengers weighing up to 250 lbs.

Of course, this is subject to the maximum allowable takeoff weight.

The manual also gives the forward and aft cg limits (in page 30). In case of very light pilots, the aft cg limit may be exceeded and it may be required to carry ballast for bringing the cg within limits.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the link to the manual, it actually gives a "light pilot" (135 lb / 61 kg) example that puts the Cg just inside the limits. So I guess this is effectively the minimum pilot weight before ballast is required. $\endgroup$ – Notts90 Oct 26 '16 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Notts90 Your guess is generally true, in that a generic Vari Eze—as represented by the generic owners manual—will require a minimum weight at the pilot station of 135 lbs, or an equivalent moment produced with the help of ballast elsewhere. However, understand that every individual aircraft has a different weight and balance, and so the minimum weight required to keep CG in limits will vary by individual aircraft. For this reason it would be improper to state categorically that 135 lbs is the minimum pilot weight for the Vari Eze. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Oct 26 '16 at 18:16

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