# Weight and Balance?

#### smokey1

##### Well-Known Member
Doug or anyone who knows,
How do you know exactly how heavy the md-80 is when its loaded with its given fuel, passengers, and cargo? Last time I checked the airlines didn't weigh each person as they got on the plane.
Smokey...................................................

The airlines use averages. Each person weighs 170 pounds in the summer and 175 in the winter. Each bag weighs 25 lbs. unless it's determined to be oversize, then 50 lbs or higher. The bag and passenger count plus the fuel is put in the computer and out comes the weight and balance. At Skywest we get a print-out. The flight attendant gives us a number based on where the passengers are seated and we put that number on the sheet and come up with another number to plot on a graph to make sure we're in limits and get our takeoff trim setting.

We also have a worksheet in the airplane in case the computers are down.

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The airlines use averages. Each person weighs 170 pounds in the summer and 175 in the winter. Each bag weighs 25 lbs.

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Chris - I thought the airlines were changing this (VERY unrealistic) average after the crash of the regional airliner in NC?

Seems some airliners began actually weighing people and their bags and discovered that the "average" American weighs in at roughly 190 - not 175 and that the bags were heavier too.

Heard anything about this?

I think the new higher average weights are only applied to 19-30 seat aircraft.

Ah - that's right. I remember that now. Thanks for clearing that up.

If I remember correctly at Allegheny in the Dash 8 we used 170 summer/175 winter and 34.5 per bag - unless of course we were overweight then we find some of the smaller bags and move them from the cargo hold into the cabin - as soon as they enter the cabin they become 'carry ons' and magically are reduced in weight to ZERO!! I can't believe that's actually an approved procedure! But anyway, that's something else to consider, not only are Americans heavier than the average - that average weight supposedly also includes the persion's carry on baggage!! Last night my roll-a-board weighed 32 pounds(weighed it for the fun of it), I had a laptop bag that weighed probably 10 - I carried both on board with me - plus my weight(and I haven't weighed FAA 'average' for YEARS) - I busted the average weight by probably at least 120 pounds.

Jason

Well I can tell you that the weights the FAA uses as guidelines stink..I dont think anyone carries a suitcase weighing less than 50 lbs. and the body weights yeah right. I know they have to have a standard but that cost the B-1900. As far as the maddog (md-88) that plane is very weight sensitive. The load agent must be in contact with the gate to make sure he/she doesnt fill up first class after you have a loaded bins 1-4 full. We have a min/max for each bin but its still a pain to load.

It's my understanding that the new weights apply to all airlines and aircraft. A month or so ago there was a 90 day deadline to start using them unless the FAA approved an alternative.

Have any of you seen any NTSB final report that said W&amp;B had anything to do with the NC crash? As I understand it, that is all the result of a Piedmont employee (who should have kept her fat mouth shut) saying "the aircraft appeared heavy" to a media person.

Last I heard it was a separated Elevator cable.

In any case I don't think Weight mattered as much as Balance. They may have been near aft Cg limits or so the gossip says. The info is obviously being very closely held.

I flew 1900s for 4 years. They can carry the load. We regularly demonstrated SFAR 43 Single Engine performance in the sim with weight at 1100 lbs over gross. (18,000)

I agree that 170 and 175 are not realistic weights, but if they change the average passenger weight then they need to recertify all the aircraft to higher gross weights, because the FAA has been assuming that those weights are low for years.

[ QUOTE ]
Have any of you seen any NTSB final report that said W&amp;B had anything to do with the NC crash? As I understand it, that is all the result of a Piedmont employee (who should have kept her fat mouth shut) saying "the aircraft appeared heavy" to a media person.

Last I heard it was a separated Elevator cable.

[/ QUOTE ]

John, I saw a news report (can't remember which station - I *think* it was on NBC) that stated that the NTSB was leaning towards BOTH over-loading and the Elevator cable malfunctioning.

I didn't hear anything about the Piedmont employee, but the report did mention that the Captain and F/O of the flight were joking prior to takeoff (guess this is all on the voice recorder) about the planes' "Tail dragging" because of all the luggage.

Take that for what it's worth.

This is the same report that felt obliged to play the spine-chlling replay of the Captain's paniced voice over the freq. saying "Flight **** we have an emergency, Uhhhh - we have an emergency!!!" then seconds later the ELT goes off.

Turned my stomach. Reality sucks like that. (not meant to be a joke).

R2F

The media, of course, never gets anything wrong

The final NTSB report has not yet been released, my sources say. I have been informed that the FAA has been told to investigate load manifests (W&amp;B for you non-airline types) more closely, particularly to examine how close they are to aft Cg and if they are accurate.

[ QUOTE ]
The media, of course, never gets anything wrong

[/ QUOTE ]
Ahhh - truer words.....

We are changing our passenger weights effetive July 1st. Summer weights will be 195lbs, up from a previous average of 180lbs. This one will cost the 1900s dearly, it may even be their demise. Sad but it may be true.

My roommate and I were talking about this just last night and he was saying the same thing. He was saying with the new pax weights that the FAA is mandating, a lot of their A320s on transcontinental routes will be to heavy to make it non-stop, especially westbound come winter. Pretty much all transport category airplanes are in the same boat. Hopefully that means AWE will pickup some more 757s

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