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What is the crank the pilot is operating above his head? Also what type of aircraft is this?
The pilot is operating the overhead stabilator trim crank in an early model Piper Cherokee. Here's a close up the trim crank:
Piper Cherokee overhead trim crank; image from tnwings.com
In later models, it was replaced with airliner type trim wheels
That's a pitch trim control. The older PA-28-140 Warriors had their manual elevator (stabilator) trim as an overhead crank like that. Later versions of the PA-28 moved the trim to a friction wheel between the front seats behind the flap lever.
Required, but never shown